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Lt Hung-chang in 1896. 



Hosea Ballou Morse, ll.d. 












1. Korea tributary to China 

2. French expedition to Korea, 1866 . 

3. Visits of American war-ships, 1 867-68 

4. Piratical raid to Korea, 1868 . 

5. American diplomatic mission proposed 

6. German and Russian attempts, 1S69 

7. China disclaims responsibility for Korea, 1871 . 

8. Hostile reception of American mission, May 31, 1871 

9. Korean forts silenced ; mission failed ; June-July . 

10. First treaty between China and Japan, Sept. 13, 1871 

11. Treaty between Japan and Korea, Feb. 26, 1876 

12. Korean treaties with Western powers, 1882-86 

13. Anti-foreign riot at Seoul, July 23, 1882 . 

14. Yuen Shih-kai and P. G. von Mollendorff sent to Korea 

15. Coup d 1 etat &t Seoul, Dec. 4, 1884 .... 

16. Convention between China and Japan, April 18, 1885 

17. Mr. von Mollendorff intrigues with Russia 

18. British occupy Port Hamilton, May 12 ; Mr. H. F. Merrill sent 

to Korea, Oct., 1885 ...... 

19. Mr. Merrill's mission to maintain China-Korean connexion 

20. Mr. O. N. Denny appointed adviser to Korean king, Jan., 1 886 
21.- He sets Korea against Chinese connexion 

22. Yuen Shih-kai upholds Chinese connexion 

23. Korean envoy received at Washington, Jan. 17, 1888 ; Denny 

withdraws from Korean service, Dec, 1888 

24. Increasing rivalry of China and Japan in Korea 

25. Tonghak rising in Korea, March-May, 1894 . 

26. Assassination of Kim Ok-kiun, March 28 

27. China invited to suppress Tonghaks ; both China and Japan 

send troops ..... 

28. Japan rejects China's claim to suzerainty 

29. Simultaneous withdrawal acceptable to China, rejected by Japan 

30. Japanese seize royal palace at Seoul and change administration, 

July 23 . ... 

31. Chinese chartered transport Kowahing sunk, July 25 

32. Action of Yashan, July 29 ; war declared, Aug. I 













1. China's aim in Korean affairs 

2. China wished only to maintain status quo 

3. Japan inspired by spirit of conquest 

4. Problems of extraterritoriality a factor . 

5. Proposals for foreign mediation, July, 1894 

6. Shanghai declared outside war zone 

7. Chinese mob attack on British steamer . 

8. Japanese victory at Pingyang, Sept. 1 6 . 

9. Naval battle of the Yalu (Haiyang), Sept. 17 

10. Perturbation of the Chinese . 

11. Renewed proposals for foreign mediation, Oct 

12. Japanese progress in Manchuria, Oct.-Dec. 

13. Prince Kung renews proposals for mediation, Nov. 

14. Capture of Port Arthur ; massacre ; Nov. 21 

15. Cross-currents of negotiation, Nov. 17-26 

16. Chinese officials severely dealt with 

17. Surrender of Weihaiwei and fleet, Feb. 12, 1895 

18. Peace embassy of Chang Yin-hwan and Shao Yu-lien, Jan 

19. Their credentials declared unsatisfactory, Feb. 2 

20. Japanese progress in Manchuria, Jan. -March . 

21. Li Hung-chang appointed special ambassador, Feb. 1 
22.. Negotiations opened at Shimonoseki, March 20 

23. Chinese ambassador wounded by Japanese fanatic, March 

24. Some concessions thereupon made by Japan . 

25. Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed April 17. 
26i Independence of Korea . . .'••'-. 

27. Liaotung, ceded to Japan, retroceded to China 

28. Commotion in Formosa against cession . 

29. Republic of Formosa declared, May 24 . 

30. Movement engineered by Chinese war party . 

31. Li Ching-fang delivers Formosa to Japan, June 2 

32. Japanese land May 29 ; collapse of republic . 

33. Formosa occupied ; north, June ; south, Oct. 

34. Franco-Russian loan, July, 1895 . 

35. Anglo-German loans, 1896, 1898 . 

36. Chinese hostility to missions after defeat 

37. Results of the war ..... 










































1. Dismemberment of China apparently inevitable 

2. China's Post : the Ichan, government couriers 

3. The Wenpao Chii, or Despatch Office 

4. The Formosa postal experiment . 

5. Letter hongs for Chinese correspondence . 




6. Foreign post-offices for foreign correspondence 

7. Three elements opposing a Chinese Post 

8. Legation mails carried by China in winter 

9. Beginnings of a customs postal service . 

10. Issues of Chinese postage stamps . 

11. Reluctance to assume the work of foreign post-offices 

12. Post established by imperial decree, March 20, 1896 

13. Difficulties encountered in organising Post 

14. Post built up on foundation of customs establishment 

15. A Chinese service thus built up 

16. Union practice and rules observed 

17. Arrangement made with foreign steamers 

18. Adhesion to Postal Union deferred until 1914 . 

1 9. Letter hongs fought, but not coerced 

20. Post severed from Customs, 1911 ; its progress 






1. China content with its communications . 

2. Proposed railway Shanghai- Soochow, 1863, rejected 

3. Sir M. Stephenson's proposals, 1863, rejected . 

4. Railway line laid Shanghai- Wusung, 1875-76 . 

5. Line bought by China and removed 

6. The Kaiping steam tramway, 1880 

7. The Formosa railway, 1S87 .... 

8. Kaiping tramway extended to Tientsin, 1888 

9. Opposition to proposed extension to Peking . 

10. Extension to Shanhaikwan and into Manchuria, 1891 

11. Completion of Imperial Railways of North China 

12. Li Hung-chang's influence supports Russia 

13. Agreements with Russia regarding Manchuria, 1896 

14. Russo-Chinese Bank and Transiberian Railway 

15. The Chinese Eastern Railway 

16. The Bureau of Control for Railways and Mines 

17. Peking-HankoW line : struggle for control 

18. Memorial by Mr. G. Detring, 1897 
1*9. Construction entrusted to Belgians 

20. German lines in Shantung .... 

21. Anglo-German line Tientsin to Yangtze 

22. Final settlement on Pukow terms . 

23. French lines in South China . . ... 

24. Hankow-Canton line : American contract 

25. Line redeemed by China by English loan 

26. Attitude of British government to railway claims 

27. British lines in Yangtze basin 

28. British line in Honan : redeemed by China . 

29. Other railways in China .... 

30. Japanese railways in Manchuria . 

31. Formation of Four-power Group . 

32. Hukwang railways undertaken by it • 
Table of the railways of China : Appendix B 








1. China shifts her diplomatic base .... 

2. Li Hung-chang's mission to the Western powers, 1896 
3.. Avowed objects of the embassy .... 

4. Secret agreement with Russia . . . . 

5. Russia dominates Korea, then withdraws, 1896-97 . 

6. Murder of German missionaries in Shantung, Nov. 1, 1897 

7. Kiaochow occupied, Nov. 14 ; reparation demanded 

8. Bellicose and spectacular attitude of Germany 

9. Kiaochow Bay ceded on lease ; privileges in Shantung 

10. Tsingtau declared a freihafen, under Chinese customs 

11. Opinions on Germany's conduct .... 

12. Russia obtains cession of £ort Arthur and Talienwan, March 27 


13. France obtains cession of Kwangchow-wan, April 11 

14. England's strong protest against German demands . 

15. British opposition withdrawn .... 

16. England proposes loan £12,000,000 to China, Jan. 8, 1898 

17. French and Russian objections to loan . 

18. Russia protests against British ships at Port Arthur 

19. China coerced into refusing government loan, Feb. 3 

20. England cannot prevent cession of Port Arthur 

21. England obtains cession of Weihaiwei ..".-. 

22. Self-denying assurance given to Germany 

23. England obtains extension of territory, Hongkong . 

24. Declarations of non-alienation of territory 

25. Limitations on these declarations .... 

26. Declarations for control of Customs and Posts 

27. Extension of foreign settlements at Shanghai . 

28. Compensating gains by England .... 

29. Italy demands cession of Sanmen Bay, 1899 ; rejected 

30. American dismay at exclusion from developing China 

31. Mr. John Hay asserts policy of open door for trade, 1899 

32. Abasement of China not yet complete . 


1. Growing demand for reform in administration . 

2. Early steps taken to initiate reforms 

3. Canton a centre of radical reform .... 

4. Sun Yat-sen, revolutionary reformer, his character-. 

5. Kang Yu-wei, constitutional reformer, his character 

6. Rapid spread of reform feeling, spring, 1898 . 

7. Two parties in the state, northern and southern 

8. Kang Yu-wei introduced to personal notice of emperor 

9. First reform decrees and their prophylactic, June 11, 13, 1898 

10. Dallying with reform in high places 

11. Summary of Chang Chih-tung's essay, " Learn" . 

12. Emperor's principal reform decrees, June 20-Sept. 16 

13. A pyramid standing on its apex .... 

14. The later decrees struck at all official privilege 

15. Dismissal of Li Hung-chang and other ministers, Sept. 4, 7 



16. Yuen Shih-kai summoned to support of emperor, Sept. 16-20 

17. His betrayal of the emperor's cause 

1 8. His own account of his orders and his action . 

19. Emperor's person seized ; his life imperilled . 

20. Escape of Kang Yu-wei by aid of British authorities 

21. Empress dowager resumes regency, Sept. 22 ;' Junglu in power 

22. Reformers hunted down and executed, banished, or cashiered 

23. General reversal of reform decrees .... 

24. Administration apprehensive of foreign interference . ■ 

25. Anti-foreign disturbances in the provinces 

26. Legation guards ; Tung Fu-siang's Kansu troops 

27. Forces for and against reform, explaining failure 

28. Foreign opinion on the movement and its failure ' . 




1. Commercial developments during 1899 . 

2. Characteristics of Hunan and the Hunanese . 

3. Hunan opened to foreign trade and missions . 

4. Official status granted to R. C. missionaries . 

5. Feeling of unrest general in all provinces 

6. Conditions in Chekiang during 1899 

7. Conditions in Fukien ..... 

8. Conditions in Kwangtung and Kwangsi . 

9. Conditions in Yunnan and Kweichow 

10. Conditions in Szechwan .... 

11. Conditions in Kansu, Sinkiang and Shensi 

12. Conditions in Hupeh and Kiangsi . 

13. Conditions in Anhwei and Kiangsu 

14. Conditions in Manchuria and Chihli 

1 5. Unrest intensified by resistance to German and Italian aggression 

1 6. Unrest further intensified by mission of Kangyi 

1 7. Rivalry between Junglu and Prince Ching 

18. Anti- foreign attitude of Shantung 

19. German action to restrain anti-German offences 

20. Chinese threat of action ; converts endangered 

21. Organisation of the Boxer society . 

22. Boxers supported by sympathy of officials 

23. Increasing activity of Boxers 

24. Murder of Mr. S. M. Brooks, Dec. 31, 1899 

25. Responsibility of Yiihsien for rise of Boxers . 

26. Yiihsien replaced as governor by Yuen Shih-kai 

27. First attempts to depose the emperor • . 

28. Continuation of the agitation 

29. Puchun selected heir presumptive to Tungchih, Jan. 24, 1900 

30. Emperor not deposed but eliminated ; decision postponed 

31. Ominous decree encouraging Boxers, Jan. 11, 1900 

32. Encouragement increased by honour to Yiihsien 

33. Legations demand suppression of Boxer Society 

34. Conduct of Yuen Shih-kai as governor . 

35. Punishments and honours for Chinese officials 

36. General unrest throughout the empire . 

37. Pacifying assurances of German newspapers . 

38. Note of warning on anti- foreign rising . • 

. 162 





1. Warning against the Boxer danger, May, 1900 . . .193 

2. Optimism of foreign envoys . . . . . . 1 95 

3. Reassuring decrees : hostile acts of Boxers . . . 1 96 

4. Legation guards brought up, May 31. . . . 1 97 

5. Railway communication interrupted, May 28 . . . .198 

6. Murder of Mr. Robinson and Mr. Norman, June 1 . . .199 

7. Exodus of railway engineers from Paotingfu . . . .199 

8. Boxers supported by ministers in high places . . . .199 

9. Legations appeal for help ; Seymour relief force starts, June 10 201 

10. Situation critical ; envoys propose personal audience . . 202 

11. Boxers aggressively active near Peking, June 9-10 . . . 203 

12. Concentration of foreigners in and near Peking, June 9 . . 203 

13. Murder of Sugiyama, June 11 ; , Boxers enter Peking, June 13 . 204 

14. Boxer irruption into Tientsin, June 14 . . . . . 205 

15. Admirals send ultimatum, seize Taku forts, June 16-17 . . 206 

16. American admiral abstains from co-operating . . . 207 

1 7. Situation as presented to the admirals ..... 208 

18. Confronted by hostile attitude of Chinese administration . . 209 

19. Effect of seizure on position of foreign residents . . . 210 

20. Seizure the pretext, not the cause, for opening hostilities . .211 

21. Adm. Seymour's advance checked at Langfang, June 11 . . 213 

22. He retreats and is relieved, June 16-26 . . . • . 214 

23. Attack opened on foreign settlement, Tientsin, June 17 . - . 215 

24. Relieving force from Taku arrives June 23 . . . .216 

25. State of semi-siege at Peking, June 8-20 .... 216 

26. Inaction and silence of Chinese government . . . .218 

27. A newspaper editorial and a forged despatch, June 1 9 . . 218 

28. Grand imperial council decides on war, June 20 . . .219 

29. Envoys required to leave Peking within 24 hours, June 19 . 220 

30. Envoys, prepared to leave, ask for interview . . . .221 

31. Baron von Ketteler alone starts for interview, June 20 . . 222 

32. Baron killed by Manchu soldier ; Mr. Cordes wounded . . 223 

33. Curious anticipation of news of murder ..... 224 

34. Legations attacked, 4 p.m., by Boxers and by troops . . 224 












Siege of Peking legations, June 20 ; divided counsels of Chinese 233 
Divided control of defence of legations . . . • 234 

Administration in the legations during siege „ . . .234 

Peking dominated and plundered by Boxers and soldiers . . 235 

Imperial decrees declaring war and for its conduct . . • 236 

Declaration of the admirals at Taku, June 20 

Correct attitude of Yangtze viceroys 

Foreign powers agree to take common action 

Decision that state of war did not exist . 

State of parties in China . . 

Agreement for neutrality of China south of Yellow River, July 3 



12. Decree ordering extermination of all foreigners, June 24 . . 237 

13. Execution of Chinese converts at Peking, June 24 . . . 238 

14. First truce, June 25, due to Boxer exuberance or other causes . 239 

15. Massacre of missionaries at Paotingfu, July 1 . . .. . 240 

16. Yuhsien massacres missionaries at Taiyuenfu, July 9 . . 240 
17.' Fate of others in Shansi and Mongolia . . . . .241 

18. Massacre at Mukden, July 3 ; slaughter of Blagovestchensk, 

July 15 242 

19. Massacre at Kuchowfu, Chekiang, July 21-23 . . . 243 

20. Operations at Tientsin ; city taken by assault, July 14 . . 243 

21. Consequences of capture of Tientsin . . . . .. 245 

22. Siege of legations ; restraining influence of Junglu . . . 246 

23. Junglu' s protests to empress dowager . . . « . 247 

24. China's appeal to the powers, July 3 .... 247 

25. Massacre of Peking community on July 8, reported July 14 . 248 

26. Crisis produces embarrassing effect on customs service . . 249 

27. Mr. F. E. Taylor appointed to administer customs . . . 250 

28. Influence of Li Hung-chang on foreign relations . . . 251 

29. Semi- truce and negotiations at Peking, July 14-17 . . . 252 

30. Benevolent imperial decree communicated to powers, July 17 . 253 

31. Efforts of Chinese envoys : first telegram from Peking, July 17 . 253 

32. Amenities during truce at Peking, July 18-27 .... 254 

33. Chinese government held responsible for safety of envoys . . 255 

34. Method of enforcing responsibility ..... 256 

35. Proposal to escort to Tientsin renewed at Peking, July 19 . 257 

36. Li Hung-chang makes same proposal to powers, Aug. 4 . . 258 

37. Assaults on legations renewed, July 29 . . . . • 259 


1. Li Ping-heng ordered to Peking, June, 1900 . . . .260 

2. Supports aggressive party ; strikes at pro-foreign Chinese, 

July 28 261 

3. Scanty new? from Peking during July . . . . . 262 

4. Expectation of relief in legations . . . . . .263 

5. Early move from Tientsin not thought possible . . . 264 

6. Japan urged to move ; European powers hesitate . . . 265 

7. Japan agrees to act under British guarantee . . . .266 

8. American and British governments urge forward movement . 267 

9. Allied forces advance from Tientsin, Aug. 4 . . . . 268 

10. Attacks by Chinese elsewhere consequent on movement . . . 269 

11. Negotiations with envoys at Peking, Aug. 1-3 . . . 270 

12. Advance from Pehtsang to Tungchow, Aug. 5-12 . . .270 

13. Li Hung-chang's negotiations, July 24-Aug. 16 . . . 271 

14. British troops landed at Shanghai, Aug. 12-17 . . . 273 

15. Negotiations with envoys at Peking, Aug. 4-13 . . . 274 

16. Plans of allied commanders at Tungchow, Aug. 12-13 . . 275 

17. Independent Russian action ; consequent American advance, 

Aug. 14 . . , .. 276 

18. British troops first to enter legation, Aug. 14 . . . . 277 

19. The relief of the besieged legations ..... 277 

20. Great sufferings of foreign community and converts . . 278 

21. Casualties among foreign defending force .... 279 

22. American assault on Forbidden City, Aug. 15, stopped . . 280 



23. Heroic defence of the Pehtang ; its relief, Aug. 16 

24. Flight of the court from Peking . 

25. The government of China transferred to Sianfu 

26. The punishment of Peking .... 

27. Peking occupied by allied forces under martial law 

28. Military promenade through imperial palace, Aug. 28 

29. Depth of humiliation of the empire 





1. Restoration of order in Peking ...... 290 

2. Formation of Tientsin Provisional Government . . .291 

3. Councillors appointed from each nation . . . . ' . 292 

4. Appointments of heads of departments . . . . .292 

5. Limited extent of powers of the T.P.G. . . . . .293 

6. Sources of its revenue for administration . . . . 294 

7. Problems of feeding the Chinese population . . . .295 

8. Problem of salt seized by foreign military authorities . .295 

9. Public works undertaken by the T.P.G. .... 296 

10. Formation of Haiho Conservancy Board .... 297 

11. Consuls able to veto proposals of T.P.G. .... 298 

12. T.P.G. under strict control of military authorities . . .298 

13. Illustration of Mr. Tenney's case . . . . . .299 

14. Control of T.P.G. over Chinese officials ..... 300 

15. Li Hung-chang requests powers to open negotiations, Aug. 19 . 301 

16. Naval and military commanders refuse to recognise him . . 302 

17. Foreign powers hesitate to recognise him .... 302 

18. Prince Ching attempts to open negotiations, Sept. 6 . . 303 

19. Li Hung-chang.'s delay in reaching Peking .... 304 

20. Russian note proposing withdrawal from Peking, Aug. 28 . 305 

21. Allied powers generally reject Russian proposal . . . 306 

22. Russian further inquiry of allies' intentions, Sept. 17 . . 307 

23. German note demanding prior punishment, Sept. 18 . . 308 

24. Strong attitude of Germany in July ..... 308 

25. Count von Waldersee appointed to supreme command . . 309 

26. Waldersee arrives at Tientsin, Sept. 25 . . . . .310 

27. His appointment coldly received by other allies . . .311 

28. Dispersion of Chinese forces . . . . 313 

29. Relief of Chinese converts around Peking . . . .313 

30. Clearing of country around Tientsin and Peking . . .314 

31. Forts at Pehtang and Shanhaikwan occupied, Sept. 20, 29 . 315 

32. Punitive expeditions to Hienhien and Paotingfu, Oct. . .316 

33. Expeditions continued by Germans ; attitude of other powers 317 

34. Official attitude reflected in movements of troops . . .319 

35. Attitude of powers to German note of Sept. 18 . . 320 

36. Chinese imp'l decree inflicting punishments, Sept. 25 . .321 

37. Russia proceeds to absorb Manchuria, Sept. 24 . . .321 

38. Russian action at Newchwang, Oct. 4 . . . . . 322 

39. Russian aggression at Tientsin, Oct. 4 . . . . . 323 

40. Russian claim to concession at Tientsin, Nov. 6 . . . 324 

41. The claim maintained against protests . . . . .324 

42. General grab of concessions at Tientsin ..... 325 

43. Anglo-German agreement, Oct. 16 . . . . . 326 

44. The divergent aims of the allied powers . . , . .327 




1. Attitude of Yangtze viceroys to the negotiations . . .330 

2. Court still under a,nti-foreign domination .... 330 

3. indecision of Chinese plenipotentiaries and foreign powers . 332 

4. French note circulated, Oct. 4, 1 900 ..... 332 

5. Attitude of allied powers to French note . . . ■ 333 
& Insufficient Chinese proposals for punishment . . • .334 

7. Increase in Chinese proposals ; still insufficient . . . 335 

8. Foreign envoys consider proposals inadequate and absurd . 336 

9. Attempt to induce court to return to Peking . . . .337 

10. Chinese plenipotentiaries open negotiations, Oct. 15 ; no result . . 338 

11. Foreign envoys consider and amend French note . . . 339 

12. Discussion by envoys on the punishments . . . , 340 

13. Joint note presented, Dec. 24 ; accepted by imp'l decree . . 342 

14. Observations of viceroys and plenipotentiaries on joint note . 342 

15. Further military action proposed by Waldersee, Feb. 15, 1901 . 343 

16. Alleged Russo- Chinese agreement on Manchuria . . . 344 

17. Agreement denied, admitted, modified, dropped . . . 345 

18. American proposals regarding indemnities and treaty revision . 346 

19. Final protocol signed, Sept. 7, 1901 ..... 347 

20. Art. i ; reparation for murder of Baron von Ketteler . . 348 

21. Art. ii ; punishment of nobles and imperial ministers . . 348 

22. Punishment of provincial officials ...... 349 

23. Prohibition of examinations for five years .... 349 

24. Art. iii ; reparation for murder of Mr. Sugiyama . . . 349 

25. Art. iv ; erection of expiatory monuments in cemeteries . . 349 

26. Art. v : prohibition of import of arms for two years . . . 350 

27. Art. vi : indemnities : differing opinions of the powers . . 350 

28. Committee of envoys to study payment of indemnities . . 351 

29. Indemnity fixed at Tls. 450,000,000 payable in 40 years . . 352 

30. Amount claimed for each power . . . . . .352 

31. Art. vii : right to have legation guards ..... 354 

32. Reservation of foreign legation quarter ..... 355 

33. Art. viii : razing of forts at Taku and elsewhere . . . 357 

34. Art. ix : occupation of points, Peking to the sea . . . 357 

35. Art x : publication of imperial decrees ..... 357 

36. Art. xi : revision of treaties ; Peiho and Hwangpu conservancies 357 

37. Art. xii : creation of ministry of Foreign Affairs . . .358 

38. Agreement to evacuate Peking ...... 358 

39. China had now reached the lowest stage of degradation . . 358 


1. Death of Li Hung-chang, Nov. 7, 1901 360 

2. Other happenings to Chinese officials . . . . .361 

3. Deposition of Puchiin ; rehabilitation of Chang Yin-hwan ; 

Dec, 1901 362 

4. Return of court to Peking, Jan., 1902 ; its friendly attitude . 362 




5. Decision to restore Tientsin to Chinese administration . . 364 

6. T.P.G. surrenders government to viceroy, Aug. 15, 1902 . . 365 

7. Withdrawal of garrisons from Shanghai, 1 902-3 . . . 365 

8. Indemnities : British, Japanese and American claims moderate 366 

9. Difficulty to China from fall ip value of silver .... 367 

10. Tariff revision : China's difficult position .... 368 

11. Revision of the commercial treaties, 1902-3 .... 369 

12. Attempted abolition of likin throughout China . . .370 

13. Attempted reform not carried out . ..... 371 

14. Regulation of customs and trading matters .... 372 

15. Essentially British claims regulated . . . . .373 

16. Full rights secured for missionaries and converts . . . 373 

17. Prohibition of import of morphia . . . . . .374 

18. Confused state of Chinese currency . . . . . 374 

19. China required to adopt uniform coinage, weights and measures 375 

20. China supported in reforming judicial system . . . . 376 

21. Mining regulations to be recast ...... 377 

22. Protection of trade-marks, copyright and patents . . . 377 

23. Jurisdiction in mixed cases at Shanghai ..... 378 

24. Peiho conservancy at Tientsin . . . . . ., 380 

25. Hwangpu conservancy, Shanghai ; projects of 1874, 1880, 1899 380 

26. Scheme of 1901 under final protocol ..... 381 

27. New scheme adopted, Sept. 27, 1905 382 

28. Organisation of Board of Conservancy ..... 383 

29. Funds of the Board found inadequate ..... 384 

30. The Hwangpu Board of Maintenance created, April 4, 1912 . 385 

31. Excellent results of the Board's work ..... 385 



1. The Inspectorate of Customs a Chinese service . . . 387 

2. Fixed allowance to cover cost of administration . . . 388 

3. Lights and Marine covered by seven- tenths of Tonnage Dues . 389 

4. Customs acquired confidence of Chinese and foreigners . . 389 

5. Gradual extension of its sphere of work ... . . . 390 

6. New duties imposed by Boxer settlement . . . .391 

7. Control of native customs a desideratum . . . .391 

8. The spirit of Sir R. Hart's measures in dealing with question . 392 

9. Consideration shown for the old staff ..... 393 

10. Need of dealing gently with Chinese Superintendents . . 394 

11. A reforming spirit gradually introduced . . . . 395 

12. Revenue increased, but expectations not realised . . . 395 

13. Chief gain was to trade and traders ..... 397 

14. Political influence early acquired by Sir R. Hart . . . 398 

15. His influence strengthened by his caution . . . .399 

16. Caution exercised in control of native customs . . . 399 

17. Caution in procedure for collecting revenue .... 400 

18. Change in collection of revenue made by Mr. Aglen . .401 

19. Sir R. Hart's control over the customs service absolute . . 404 

20. His political influence evoked discontent . . . . . 404 

21. Department of Customs Affairs created, May 9, 1906" . 406 

22. Foreign interests uneasy ; reassured by Sir R. Hart . 406 

23. End of Sir R. Hart's career; death, Sept. 20, 1911 . . . 407 






1. Resentment of Chinese against Manehu rulers . . .410 

2. Decrees assimilating Manchus and Chinese, Feb., 1902 . .411 

3. Decrees intimating reform of education, Jan., 1902 . . .411 

4. Beginnings of teaching by missionaries . . . . .411 

5. Great work of American and other mission schools . . .412 

6. The Tungwenkwan, or School of Languages . . . .413 

7. Chinese Educational Mission to the United States . . . 414 

8. State collegiate education prior to 1900 ..... 414 

9. Post-Boxer education in Shansi . . . . . 415 

10. General state education initiated in China . . . .416 

11. Short-lived Confucian reaction, Jan., 1907 .... 416 

12. Manchurian situation ; Anglo- Japanese agreement, Jan. 30, 

1902 . 417 

13. Resulting Russo-Chinese convention, April 8, 1902 . . .418 

14. Russian hold on eastern Manchuria maintained . . .419 

15. Russian appointed in charge of Newchwang customs, April, 1903 420 

16. Further Russian demands on China, April, 1903 . . . 421 

17. Categorical denial of reports by Russia ..... 422 

18. Russian resistance to opening of treaty ports . . . . 423 

19. Russia withdraws from resisting British requests, Jan., 1904 . 425 

20. Russo-Japanese war begun, Feb. -8, 1904 . . . . 426 

21. Military and naval events of the war , . . . .426 

22. China, outside of Manchuria, declared neutral . . . 427 

23. Chinese treatment of Russian war-ships ..... 428 

24. Chinese action regarding contraband ..... 430 

25. China's helplessness in a novel situation . .... 431 

26. Declaration of disinterestedness by neutral powers, Jan., 1905 431 

27. On American invitation, June 8, plenipotentiaries appointed . 432 

28. Course of negotiations ; treaty of Portsmouth, Sept. 5, 1905 . 433 

29. Electrical effect of result on the Chinese nation . . . 434 

30. Boycott against American trade, May-Sept., 1905 . . , 434 

31. Renewal of agitation against opium smoking . . . .436 

32. Imperial decree Nov. 21, 1906; instant response . . . 437 

33. Great reduction in import of foreign opium .... 437 

34. International opium conferences, 1909 and 1912 ..."•", . 438 

35. Student agitation for constitutional reform .... 439 

36. Tentative steps in constitutional reform, 1906-08 . . . 440 

37. Hopelessness of measures adopted ..... 440 

38. Death of emperor and empress dowager, Nov. 14, 15, 1908 . 441 

39. New emperor Hsiiantung : downfall of Yuen Shih-kai . . 442 

40. Insistent demand for immediate summoning of Parliament . 442 

41. Prince Ching first Prime Minister, May, 1911 : his character . 443 

42. Revolution, Oct., 1911; abdication of emperor, Feb. 12, 1912 . 444 

43. Summary of period of conflict, 1834-60 ..... 444 

44. Summary of period of submission, 1861-93 .... 445 

45. Period of subjection, 1894-1912 ; the empire's legacy to the 

republic ......... 446 





Table of the Loans contracted by China to December 3 1 , 1911. 448 

Table of the Railways built in China to 1915 . . . . 450 


Table of Receipts and Expenditure of the Hwangpu Con- 
servancy, 1906-1915 452 


The Customs Service : the Spirit that ought to animate it ; 
the Policy that ought to guide it ; the Duties it ought 
to perform; its organisation. r. hart, june 21, 1864, 
and November 1, 1869 . . . . . . 453 

List of Honours conferred on Sir Robert Hart . . . 470 


Memorandum on the Tungwenkwan (College) by Dr. W. A. P. 

Martin (its first President) . . . . . .471 


Extracts from Memorandum on China's Neutrality in the 

Russo-Japanese War ....... 479 


Foreign Diplomatic Representatives accredited to the Court 

of Peking, 1517-1911 448 


INDEX 499 



From a photograph by Russell i.Sons, Baker Street, London,. W. 

Admiral Tikg Ju-chang ..... 

Wearing the Yellow Riding Jacket and summer official hat. 
Sir Robert Hart in 1887 .... 



. 40 
: . 404 


The City of Peking 

Legation Quarter, Peking, 1900 

Tientsin, 1900 

Legation Quarter, Peking, 1902 
The Hwangpu Conservancy 
Map of China .... 

. 193 
. 224 

. 240 
. 356 

. 384 
At end of volume 

III— b 


The International Relations of 
the Chinese Empire 




1. Korea tributary to China ...... 2 

2. French expedition to Korea, 1866 ..... 2 

3. Visits of American war-ships, 1867-68 .... 3 

4. Piratical raid to Kore'a, 1868 ..... 3 

5. American diplomatic mission proposed .... 4 

6. German and Russian attempts, 1869 .... 4 

7. China disclaims responsibility for Korea, 1871 ... 5 

8. Hostile reception of American mission, May 31, 1871 . 6 

9. Korean forts silenced ; mission failed ; June-July- . . 7 

10. First treaty between China and Japan, Sept. 13, 1871 . 8 

11. Treaty between Japan and Korea, Feb. 26, 1876 . . 8 

12. Korean treaties with Western powers, 1882-86 . . 9 

13. Anti-foreign riot at Seoul, July 23, 1882 ... 10 

14. Yuen Shih-kai and P. G. von Mollendorff sent to Korea . 10 

15. Coup d'etat at Seoul, Dec. 4, 1884 .... 11 
1C. Convention between China and Japan, April 18, 1885 . 11 

17. Mr. von Mollendorff intrigues with Russia . . .12 

18. British occupy Port Hamilton, May 12 ; Mr. H. F. 

Merrill sent to Korea, Oct., 1885 . . . 12 

19. Mr. Merrill's mission to maintain China-Korean connexion 13 

20. Mr. O. N. Denny appointed adviser to Korean king, 

Jan., 1886 14 

21. He sets Korea, against Chinese connexion . . .15 

22. Yuen Shih-kai upholds Chinese connexion . . .15 

23. Korean envoy received at Washington, Jan. 17, 1888 ; 

Denny withdraws from Korean service, Dec, 1888 . 17 

24. Increasing rivalry of China and Japan in Korea . . 18 

25. Tonghak rising in Korea, March-May, 1894 . . .19 

III— 1 



26. Assassination of Kim Ok-kiun, March 28 . .20 

27. China invited to suppress Tonghaks ; both China and 

Japan send troops . . . . . .21 

28. Japan rejects China's claim to suzerainty . . .21 

29. Simultaneous withdrawal acceptable to China, rejected 

by Japan ....... .22 

30. Japanese seize royal palace at Seoul and change administra- 

tion, July 23 23 

31. Chinese chartered transport Kowshing sunk, July 25 . 24 

32. Action of Yashan, July 29 ; war declared, Aug. 1 . 24 

§ 1. Korea, Kaoli, Chosen, the " Land of Morning 
Calm," the t4 Hermit Kingdom," was now to become the 
bone of contention between China and Japan. For cen- 
turies Korea had been vassal to China ; and both courts 
fully recognised the reciprocal obligation, by which the 
one gave protection against external aggression and internal 
disorder, and the other paid tribute and solicited recogni- 
tion and investiture for each new ruler. In 1592, unde r 
the Ming emperor Wanli, the vassal country was invaded 
by the Japanese under Hideyoshi. Having over-run the 
country Hideyoshi crossed the. Yalu and entered Man- 
churia ; after a first reverse, he defeated the Chinese 
armies sent against him, but they rallied and he was forced 
to retire from Manchuria ; in 1598, on the death of Hide- 
yoshi, the Japanese withdrew from Korea, except the 
port of Fusan, which they continued to hold. The Manchus 
began in 1618 a campaign which brought under their 
dominion southern Manchuria ; and in 1637 they brought 
Korea into subjection. The Mancliu ruler mounted the 
throne of China in 1644, and the subject kingdom of Korea 
resumed its position of vassalage to the Chinese emperor 
which was not disturbed for more than two centuries. 

§ 2. Roman Catholic missionaries entered Korea in 
1794. In 1839 three French priests suffered martyrdom by 
decapitation, and several native priests in the following 
fourteen years. In 1866 nine French priests were decapi- 
tated, three only being saved. A naval expedition con- 
sisting of seven ships, under Admiral Roze, was despatched 
in October to Kianghwa, and, a landing party having estab- 
lished itself on shore, a blockade of the approaches to 
Seoul, the capital, was proclaimed. The Korean court 
showed no inclination to onen negotiations ; the French 


admiral dared not quit the coast ; and, at the end of 
November, the French forces returned to Chefoo, having 
obtained no satisfaction, and not even an answer to their 
demands. [1] 

§ 3. In June, 1866, the American schooner Surprise 
was wrecked on the coast of Korea, and her crew was 
kindly treated. [2] In July of the same year, while the 
American schooner General Sherman was anchored in a 
Korean port, her crew became involved in a row on shore 
owing to their brutal conduct, but were rescued ; the 
vessel was then attacked by the populace, who killed eight 
of the crew and made prisoners of the rest. [3] The 
American corvette Wachusett undertook a fruitless inquiry 
in January, 1867 ; and in March, 1868, the frigate Shenan- 
doah visited Korea, but " learned nothing to corroborate 
the reports . . . that some of the crew of the General 
Sherman are still living, and that the government is dis- 
posed to send an embassy to Western states." [4] 

§ 4. The reports referred to were communicated to 
the American authorities by an American citizen, F. B. 
Jenkins ; and in the spring of 1868 he, together with a 
Prussian merchant, Ernst Oppert, and a French priest, 
the Abbe Feron, went to Korea in the chartered German 
steamer China, with the avowed purpose of investigating 
their truth. On their return to Shanghai it became known 
that their actual object in planning the expedition was to 
rifle the tombs of certain former kings of Korea ; either in 
order that they might obtain gold and other treasures 
supposed to be buried in the tombs ; or that they might 
carry off the bodies and hold them for a money ransom ; 
or, as they themselves alleged, that, by holding possession 
of the bodies, they might favorably dispose the Korean 
court to negotiate commercial treaties with their respective 
countries. The American, Jenkins, was Charged before 
his consular court at Shanghai on six counts, but the 
prosecution failed to connect him directly with the case, 
though it was proved that he had advanced money to 
its actual promoter, Oppert, and had accompanied the 

[1] Cordier, " Relations," i, pp. 265 seq. 

[2] Mr. G. F. Seward (Consul-General at Shanghai) to Mr. W. H. 
Seward (Sec. State), Oct. 14th, 1868, U.S. For. Rel., 1870, p. 337. 
[3] Same to same, April 24th, 1868, ibid., p. 336. 
[4] Ibid., May 25th, 1868, ibid., p. 337. 


expedition. " The consuls of the other powers concerned 
await the result of my [the American consul's] action 
before determining whether to proceed against their 
nationals." No such proceedings were taken ; but the 
French priest was deported to France, and subsequently 
returned to mission work at Pondiehery. The Prussian 
Oppert wrote a book. [5 J 

§ 5. So far the relations of Western nations with Korea 
had consisted of an armed expedition which had been 
repelled, f\ friendly inquiry which had been cold-shouldered, 
and a piratical raid which had failed. In 1868 it was 
proposed to the American government that a mission should 
be sent with a double object : first to inquire into the fate 
of the crew of the General Sherman and obtain satisfaction 
in case of their wrongful treatment, and at the same time 
to " assure the Koreans of our appreciation of their kindness 
to the wrecked crew of the Surprise " ; the second object 
should be to obtain a commercial treaty. It was also 
pointed out that the United States might well take the 
initiative in negotiating a treaty : " France has been 
unfortunate in Korea ; Great Britain has hardly a greater 
interest at stake than we, and has no grievances to redress ; 
North Germany . . . has yet no determined policy in the 
East." [6] The American envoy at Peking was accord- 
ingly commissioned to make the proposed inquiry, and, 
" should the opportunity seem favorable for obtaining 
commercial advantages in Korea," to negotiate a treaty to 
that effect. He was to be accompanied by the admiral 
on the station, " with a display of force adequate to 
support the dignity of this government." [7] 

§ 6. In the meantime the German government, in 
June 1869, made an attempt to open negotiations through 
the agency of a Japanese official who accompanied the 
German envoy. The Korean officials at Fusan " thought 
it exceedingly impudent that a message of this kind had 
been delivered through a Japanese " ; and relations 
between the Koreans and the Japanese factory were 

[5] Same to same, July 3rd. 18G8, ibid., p. 337 ; North-China Herald, 
July 11th, 1868 ; Cordier, " Relations," i, p. 274 ; Oppert, " A Forbidden 
Land," London, 1880. 

[6] Mr. G. F. Seward to Mr. W. H. Seward, Oct. 14th, 1868, U.S. For. 
Rel., 1870, p. 337. 

[7] Mr. Fish to Mr. Low, April 20th, 1870, ibid., p. 334. 


broken off. " until the Japanese on board the foreign 
vessel had left the country." The condition of the 
Japanese station was described as being miserable — it was 
" inhabited by half-a-dozen officials and thirty or forty 
coolies, who are not allowed to absent themselves farther 
than half a mile from their lodgings, and are altogether 
very badly treated by the Koreans. "[8] A Russian gun- 
boat engaged in surveying on the coast of Korea was fired 
on and driven off :n May, 1869.[9] 

§ 7. In none of fftsse expeditions had there been any 
suggestion of the suzerainty of China. Mr. Fish, the 
American Secretary of State, had indeed warned the envoy 
that " some political connexion exists between China and 
Korea, which may make it advisable for you to secure in 
advance the good will and, possibly, the good offices of 
the Peking government " [10] ; but Mr. Low brushed this 
suggestion aside — " Korea is substantially an independent 
nation. To be sure, it sends tribute to China annually, 
but the tribute is sent rather as a quid pro quo for the 
privilege of trading with the Chinese than as a govern-, 
mental tribute."[ll] He made no reference to investiture 
or to the relations which had existed for centuries between 
the two countries, and might easily have found himself 
involved in a diplomatic tangle at Peking. But China 
had not yet learned the lesson of Formosa,[12] and Li 
Hung-chang had only recently taken the reins at Tientsin ; 
and the Chinese ministers refused to assume any responsi- 
bility. They went so far as to declare that, " although 
Korea is regarded as a country subordinate to China, yet 
she is wholly independent in everything that relates to 
her government, her religion, her prohibitions, and her 
laws ; in none of these things has China hitherto inter- 
fered. "[13] Mr. Low had asked for the loan of the services 
of Mr. E. B. Drew, an American and commissioner of 
Chinese customs, to act as interpreter to his mission, a 

[8] Herr v. Brandt to Baron v. Rehfiiss. cited in Mr. Low to Mr. Fish, 
Nov. 22nd, 1870, U.S. For. Rel., 1871, p. 74. 

[9] Cordier, " Relations," i, p. 39,2. 

[10] Mr. Fish to Mr. Low, ubi sup. 

ril] Mr. Low to Mr. Fish, Julv 16th, 1870, U.S. For. Rel., 1870, p. 362. 

[12] Cf. " Submission," chap.'xiii, §§ 7-13. 

[13] Tsungli Yamen to Mr. Low, March 28th, 1871, U.S. For. Rel., 
1871, p. 112. 


post of the highest importance in oriental negotiations. 
Mr. Hart referred the request to the Tsungli Yamen and 
was informed that, " the relations that exist between 
Korea and China being considered, the Yamen could not 
authorise a commissioner of customs to go there, but that, 
if Mr. Drew wanted leave of absence, he could have that 
leave of absence " ; and he was then granted " six weeks' 
leave in the usual way."[14] 

§ 8. The American squadron under Admiral John 
Rodgers, consisting of one frigate, two corvettes and two 
gunboats, having Mr. Low and his staff on board, arrived 
off Kianghwa on May 30th, 1871. The envoy was en- 
couraged by the prompt receipt of a letter asking the 
object of the expedition ; a written reply and verbal 
explanations by Mr. Drew informed the writers that the 
object would be declared when officials of sufficiently high 
standing had been deputed to meet the envoy, and that 
meantime parties would be sent to survey the bay and 
river. [15] Mr. Low's hopes of a diplomatic result from his 
mission were soon dispelled, for, on June 1st, the sur- 
veying ships were fired on from concealed batteries. [16] 
While the envoy was " not unmindful of the fact that the 
general policy of the government is peace and that hostile 
operations in a distant portion of the world are to be most 
carefulty avoided," he and the admiral were agreed that 
such an '* uncalled-for attack on a peaceful mission " 
demanded prompt action, [17] without which " the dignity 
of the government of the United States would be seriously 
compromised." [18] There was then an exchange of letters, 
one of which communicated a copy of a despatch from the 
Korean king to the ministry of Rites at Peking, in which 
the king appealed for the help of his suzerain in his diffi- 

[14] R. Hart to E. B. Drew, March 7th, 1871. The letter continues 
very characteristically : "I hope you won't get shot, or be otherwise 
mauled — but I am very much of opinion that the Koreans will fight ; if 
they do fight the United States will have the honour and glory of asserting 
Republican principles, and of opening the last sublunary lock vi et armis. 
Admiral Rodgers believes in the sword, and, as far as I can see, it is quite 
as holy an instrument to work with as diplomatic chicanery or any of the 
other hundred and one ways people have of converting others to their 
own views." 

[15] Mr. Low to Mr. Fish, May 31st, 1871, U.S. For. Rel., 1871. p. 116. 

[16] Same to same, June 2nd, 1871, ibid., p. 121. 

[17] Ibid. 

H8] Same to same, June 20th, 1871, ibid., p. 126. 


culty — " A minister of the emperor must not have rela- 
tions with a foreign state." He begged that "the emperor 
will issue a special edict to exhort and instruct the 
[American] envoy, so that . . . each of us be left to him- 
self without trouble." And he hinted that the suzerain 
authority should answer the envoy's despatch : " The 
ruler of a vassal state dare not commit such a breach as 
to trouble the ministry of Rites to send a reply [to the 

§ 9. It was determined beforehand to silence and 
take the forts on Kianghwa island, and to withdraw, after 
holding them for twenty-four hours — " long enough to 
demonstrate our ability to punish such offences at 
pleasure." [20] The expedition (two gunboats and twenty 
armed launches) left the fleet on June 10th and returned 
on the 12th, having, with small loss to the Americans, 
taken and destroyed five forts mounting 481 guns, captured 
50 flags, killed over 250 Korean soldiers and wounded many 
others. Mr. Low then again tried to open negotiations ; 
but, though, in his opinion, " the operations were more 
significant than those of the English and French in 1858 
when the capture of the Taku forts caused .the government 
of China to immediately send ministers and conclude 
treaties at Tientsin, "[21] the analogy failed. The magis- 
trates refused to transmit his letters to the capital, no 
answers were returned to his demands, and he was com- 
pelled to report a failure. He had been warned of the 
trouble resulting from imperfect negotiations [22] ; but 
the trouble now was that no negotiations were possible, 
and the envoy reported — " Recent demonstration produced 
no effect upon negotiations. Nothing can be effected 
short of the capital. Force insufficient to go there without 
great risk. If peaceful means fail shall withdraw and wait 
instructions." [23] The envoy and the fleet then withdrew 
on July 3rd, and those who had hoped for a peaceful 

[19] Enclosed in ibid. 

[20] Adm. Rodgers to Commander Blake, June 9th, 1871, ibid., p. 135. 

[21] Mr. Low to Mr. Fish, June 20th, ubi sup. 

[22] " In negotiation mind one thing : all the trouble in China has 
resulted from imperfect negotiations. . . . Restrictions stipulated for are 
the hardest things in the world to knock over in the end — especially in 
these countries." — R. Hart to E. B. Drew, June 9th, 1871. 

[23] Mr. Low to Mr, Fish, telegram, June 22nd, 1871, U.S. For. Rel., 
1871, p. 149. 


opening of the Korean barriers — peaceful in intention, 
even if supported by force — were disappointed. [24] 

§ 10. It was at this time that the first treaty was 
signed between China and Japan. This treaty,[25] signed 
September 13th, 1871, was made, more or less, as between 
two equal powers. The commercial provisions were 
generally on the same basis as those in the treaties with 
the Western powers ; but there was no " most-favored 
nation " clause ; and, instead of the full status of extra- 
territoriality granted to the subjects of Western powers, 
it was provided that offenders were to be tried on criminal 
charges before the consul and the territorial official sitting 
together [26] ; but it was further provided [27] that, 
" the system of government and the laws of the two coun- 
tries being different, each country shall be free to conduct 
its own administration independently." By omission, 
civil cases were to be judged by the officials and according 
to the laws of the country in which the cause arose. Recip- 
rocal rights of trade were conceded such as had been given 
by China to .the subjects of Western powers, except 
that [28] in neither country might the subjects of the other 
carry imports into the interior or buy produce in the 
interior ; imports so carried and produce so bought 
were to be confiscated ; trade was to be limited strictly 
to the treaty ports. 

§ 11. Alter the expedition to Formosa, [29] Japan 
began to look outside for other fields in which to engage 
the attention of her disarmed samurai. In 1874 a claim 
was advanced to the undivided suzerainty over the Liuchiu 
islands 5 [30] conceded by China finally in 1881. In 1875 
a Japanese ship of war was sent cruising along the coast 
of Korea ; in December some of her sailors were fired on 
while on shore on Kianghwa island. A naval demonstra- 
tion was made at Fusan in January, 1876 ; and, after 

[24] If America goes no further in the matter, Korea will ripen like 
a pear, and then drop into the jaws of Russia." — R. Hart to E. B. Drew. 
Dee. 23rd, 1871. 

[25] Treaties, ii, p. 1235. 

[26] Art. xiii. 

[27] Art. iii. The words quoted are as given, on p. 1300, in a transla- 
tion of the Japanese text. 

[28] Trade Regulations, orts. xiv, xv. 

[29] Of. '• Submission." chap. xiii. §§ 7-13. 

|30] Ibid., chap. xv. § 17. 


ascertaining that China would stand aloof as she had in 
1871, Japan imposed on the reluctant king of Korea a 
treaty of amity and commerce, signed at Kianghwa on 
February 26th. [31] Article i declared that " Korea being 
an independent state, enjoys the same sovereign rights as 
Japan " ; and the treaty opened to Japanese trade the ports 
of Fusan, Jenchuan (Chemulpo), and Yuensan (Wonsan). 

§ 12. There had been commercial dealings between the 
two peoples for centuries, though restricted to one of 
these ports, and but little attention was paid to the asser- 
tion of independence made rather by Japan than by 
Korea ; and the Korean policy of vassalage to China and 
isolation from the world remained unchanged. When 
once in 1878, and once in 1879, a French priest was arrested 
in Korea and in danger of his life, it was to the Tsungli 
Yamen in Peking that the French representative appealed, 
and it was the Chinese government that secured the re- 
lease of the prisoners. [32] The Japanese were, however, 
obviously working at Seoul to weaken the relation of vassal 
to suzerain ; and, in 1879, Li Hung-chang gave the con- 
sidered advice to a high Korean official that " as poison 
must be met by antidote," the only way to combat Japanese 
intrigue was to conclude treaties with the Western powers. 
Later, when the American envoy asked the good offices 
of the Chinese government in opening relations with Korea, 
he was advised to apply direct to the court of Seoul. 
Treaties were thereupon negotiated by Korea with the 
United States, signed May 22nd, 1882 ; with England and 
Germany, November 26th, 1883; with Italy, June 26th, 
1884 ; with Russia, June 25th (July 7th N.S.), 1884 ; 
with France, June 4th, 1886. The European powers 
evaded a settlement of the question of Korean independence 
by commissioning their envoy at Peking to be also their 
representative, under various titles, at Seoul ; but the 
United States, influenced by the waiving, of responsibility 
at Peking, followed Japan in commissioning to Korea a 
minister plenipotentiary independent of the legations at 
Peking and Tokyo, a procedure which was highly grati- 
fying to Japan. [33] 

[31] Treaties between Korea and other powers, 1891. 
[32] Oordfer, '* Relations. " ii. p. 583. 

[33] Mr. Bingham to Mr. Frelingh\iysen, Tokyo, April 14th, 1883, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1883, p. 603. 


§ 13. The signature of the American treaty startled 
the party of reaction in Korea, led by the Regent, the 
Tai-wen-kiin, father of the king.[34] Anti-foreign rumours 
began to circulate, and, on July 23rd, 1882, a mob attacked 
the Japanese legation at Seoul and killed several of its 
occupants ; but the Japanese envoy escaped. The next 
day the mob invaded the royal palace and demanded the 
life of the queen, whom they held responsible for the 
weakness of the government. Both China and Japan 
sent forces to restore order. The Japanese force obtained 
in September an undertaking to punish the rioters and to 
pay an indemnity of $500,000 ; but, of this sum, $400,000 
was two years later remitted by Japan. [35] China 
arrested the Tai-wen-kiin and carried him off to Paotingfu, 
where he was interned until September, 1885. 

§ 14. China then decided to intervene more actively 
in the affairs of Korea. Li Hung-chang, in whose hands 
the matter was placed, sent as Resident at Seoul one of his 
most trusted secretaries, Yuen Shih-kai. Besides this he 
resolved to place by the side of the king a foreign adviser, 
who should be to Korea what Sir R. Hart was to China ; 
and for this post he selected Mr. P. G. von Mollendorff, who 
had come to China for the Chinese customs service, and was 
then in the German consular service. He arrived in Korea 
in the spring of 1883, and it was expected of him that he 
would, by his advice, shape affairs in the interests of China 
and maintain the recognition of China's suzerain rights. 
His first step was to organise a customs service, with himself 
at its head. A ministry of Foreign Affairs having been 
then formed, he was appointed one of its vice-presidents, 
and took an active part in its deliberations and decisions. 
He identified himself with Korea, adopting the national 
dress and conforming in many respects to national customs. 
Outside his proper duties he was active in introducing 
reforms for the industrial, commercial and fiscal improve- 
ment of the country, and for bettering its means of com- 
munication. Many of these were desirable and reasonable, 
though some were premature ; but none of them were 

[34] The last king died childless in 1 864 ; his widow adopted as his 
heir the son of Li Kan-ying (so called by the Chinese) who thereupon 
usurped the regency. 

[35] Mr. Kuki to Mr. Frelinghuysen, Washington, Jan. 9th, 1885, U.S. 
For. Rel., 1885, p. 567. 


financial successes, none having sufficient funds for their 
proper launching. He constantly appealed to Li Hung- 
chang for his sympathy, approval and aid ; of sympathy 
he obtained a fair amount, but the viceroy was not dis- 
posed to expend his energies or funds on Korean aifairs 
more than was necessary. [36] 

§ 15. One of Mr. von Mollendorff's schemes was the 
organisation of a postal service ; and, on December 4th, 

1884, a banquet was given to celebrate its inauguration. 
A riot broke out in the street, in which one of the Korean 
officials present at the dinner was killed. The other 
Korean officials present then rushed to the palace, alarmed 
the king, and with him took shelter with the Japanese 
guard stationed in Seoul since 1882. The next morning, 
December 5th, there was an " oriental general election/' 
seven members of the ministry were killed, and the opposi- 
tion formed an administration. The Chinese Resident, 
Yuen Shih-kai, with the Chinese guard, stationed there 
since 1882, proceeded to the palace to protect the king, 
but found it occupied by the Japanese envoy and the 
Japanese troops. The Chinese troops opened fire on the 
Japanese, and' a general commotion followed, in which 
the civil inhabitants of Seoul joined. The Japanese then 
fought their way out of the city and down to Chemulpo, 
where they were received on a Japanese steamer. China 
was then in the midst of the Tongking trouble, and could 
not oppose Japan, whose special ambassador, Count 
Inouye Kaoru, supported by a strong naval force, obtained 
full reparation by a convention signed on January 9th, 

1885. By this Korea agreed to apologise and punish the 
rioters ; to pay $30,000 indemnity ; and to construct 
barracks for the Japanese legation guard. [37] 

§ 16. By the spring it was clear that the Tongking 
difficulty would be put to one side, and that China's hands 
would soon be free ; and neither China nor Japan was too 
much inclined to force an immediate settlement of the 
Korean question. At Tientsin, on April 18th, 1885, Count 
Ito Hirobumi accordingly agreed with Li Hung-chang on. 

[36] Mainly dejived from memorandum written on Feb. 16th, 1910, 
for the author bv Mr. H. F. Merrill. Cf . postea, § 1 8. 

[37] Cordier, " Relations," ii, p. 588 ; Mr. Bingham to Mr. Freling- 
huysen. Tokyo, Dec. 22nd, 1884, U.S. For. Rel., 1885, p. 553. 


a convention, by which the two powers were, within four 
months, to withdraw all their troops from Korea ; Korea 
was to be urged to organise her own army, under instruc- 
tors who should be neither Chinese nor Japanese ; and 
each nation was to inform the other of its intention to send 
troops to Korea to suppress any disorder which might 
arise, and troops so sent were to be withdrawn as soon as 
their object was attained. [38] 

§ 17. The reorganisation of the Korean army had been 
one of Mr. von Mollendorfi's projects, and before the end 
of 1884 he had solicited Li Hung-chang to nominate 
instructors ; but, either because of his absorption in Tong- 
king affairs, or from a wish to discourage all military 
organisation in Korea, the viceroy took no action. Japanese 
aggression was the visible danger, and Mr. von Mollendorff 
then moved the ministry of Foreign Affairs to negotiate a 
convention with Russia, by which that power agreed to 
lend Russian officers to Korea to train her army ; in 
addition to any ulterior motives the Russian ministers may 
have had, Russia was to receive at once the usufruct of 
Port Lazareff.[39] The possession of this port (lat. 39° N.) 
would give Russia a comparatively ice-free naval base, 
whereas Vladivostock was ice-bound for four months of 
the year. Japan saw in it a threat directly across the Sea 
of Japan ; to China it appeared to endanger the inde- 
pendent existence of Korea, and therefore China's suzer- 
ainty over the kingdom ; and England had to face a dis- 
turbance of the Asiatic equilibrium in favour of her 
principal rival in Asia, while at the same time France 
was still occupying the Pescadores, and relations between 
China and Japan were strained. 

§ 18. To meet the situation as it affected England, 
the British naval forces, on May 12th, 1885, occupied Port 
Hamilton, an anchorage in a group of islets off the southern 
end of Korea, strategically placed to watch the movements 
of Russia, Japan, and China, as they might aflect Korea ; 
and this occupation continued until February 27th, 
1887. [40] China and Japan agreed, for this and other 
reasons, to compose their disputes by the Tientsin conven- 

[S?l Treaties, ii, p. 1316. 

[39] Mr. Merrill's memorandum ; North-China Herald, July 3rd, 1885. 

[40] 0c^ r# resp. temp'y occupation of Port Hamilton, pres. 1887. 


tion.[41] But China, now thoroughly aroused to the 
danger, struck at its root in Korea ; and Li Hung-chang 
ordered the king to denounce the convention with Russia, 
and to dismiss Mollendorff without delay* The king was 
by this time instructed as to his danger, and he obeyed ; 
he repudiated the Russian agreement, and he dismissed 
Mollendorff from his post as vice-president of the ministry 
of Foreign Af lairs. He left him, however, for the time 
at the head of the customs, but he requested the 
viceroy to nominate an American to succeed him in 
that post. The request was referred to Sir R. Hart, who 
nominated Mr. Henry F. Merrill, of the Chinese customs 
service ; and he assumed charge of the Korean customs 
in October, 1885.[42] 

§ 19. The Korean customs Avas by degrees officered in 
the higher grades by men drafted from the Chinese customs. 
Their experience was, of course, an important considera- 
tion ; but of greater importance was the connexion with 
China — " the demonstration that Korea is China's tribu- 
tary."[43] Sir R. Hart insisted on " keeping steadily in 
view the possibility of union between Korean and Chinese 
customs — such a result will be best for both Korea and 
China " ; and he hoped that the Korean ministers would 
" find the system of drafting men from the Chinese customs 
work so well, that they will steadily father it after- 
wards "[44] ; but at the same time he warned Mr. Merrill 
to " take care that I am well informed and quickly of all 
that goes on, as you will find in the long run that the best 
holding-ground is in this office — so do not be tempted to 
hook on, or drop your moorings, elsewhere,"[45] as in 
fact Mr. von Mollendorff had done. The " junction " 

[41] Cf. antea, § 16. 

[42] Mr. Merrill's memorandum. 

The viceroy provided Mr. von Mollendorff with a small post at Tientsin ; 
after three years, in the spring of 1889, heagain joined the Chinese customs 
service in the rank held by him when he left it twenty years before ; he 
ultimately rose to the rank of commissioner, but was not placed in any 
position of responsibility and authority. 

[43] Sir R. Hart to H. F. Merrill, Sept. 25th, 1885. 

In the same letter he urges on Mr. Merrill that " we should neither 
lose touch, nor allow the junction now struggling from embryo into form 
to suffer from abortion, miscarriage, or anything else likely to prevent it 
from arriving at maturity." 

[44] Same to same, Nov. 30th, 1 885. 
[45] Ibid., Sept. 26th, 1885, 


— — _ — " 

was never effected, but the true relations between China 
and Korea were openly demonstrated ; for the Korean 
customs was administered as a service subsidiary to, 
though independent of, the Chinese customs. Mr. Merrill, 
American, was succeeded in 1889 by Mr. J. F. Schoenicke, 
German ; and he in 1893 by Mr. John McLeavy Brown, 
British ; both Avere from the Chinese customs. The last 
was also given the power of drawing tight the purse-strings 
of the treasury, all orders for payments requiring his 
counter-signature, and he held on in his post until 1905. 

§ 20. Mr. Merrill was appointed chief commissioner 
of the Korean customs only, whereas his predecessor had 
been a vice-president of the ministry of Foreign Affairs 
as well. Such a dual position was held actually by Sir R. 
Hart in Peking, who, while being only the titular head of 
a revenue department, was also the unofficial adviser of 
the Chinese ministers in their international difficulties ; 
and who, in 1885, was at the height of his influence in the 
latter capacity. It was hoped that Mr. Merrill might 
also be called on to give similar advice to the Korean 
ministers [46] ; though only in his thirty-third year, he 
was a cool thinker and of sound judgment, and his advice 
to Korea would be helpful, while his loyalty to China 
and his wish to maintain the existing relations between 
the two countries were beyond question. But Li Hung- 
chang was already suspicious of Sir R. Hart's influence at 
Peking in diplomatic questions, and he had no desire to 
see that influence extended to Korean affairs through a 
member of the service of which Sir R. Hart was the head. 
The viceroy had, moreover, at his side at Tientsin a member 
of that service, Mr. G. Detring, who, while entirely loyal 
to China, was not generally subservient to the plans of his 
own chief. The viceroy then solved his political difficulty 
by nominating as adviser to the Korean ministry of 
Foreign Affairs Mr. Owen N. Denny, who had formerly 
been American consul at Tientsin. [47] 

[40] " D's presence in Korea has been a mistake from first to last, 
and there will be no quiet as long as he remains or if he has a special 
successor. For all the advice the king requires the chief commissioner 
of customs is quite strong enough." — Same to sama, Feb. 19th, 1889. 

[47] The procedure seems to have been that Yuen Shih-kai put it into 
the head of the Korean ministry, which then wrote to the viceroy, who 
then directed Mr. Detring, who cabled to Mr. Denny at his home in Port- 
land, Oregon.— G*. Detring to H. F. Merrill, Dec. 6th, 1885. 


§ 21. Russian plans were not entirely abandoned, 
and Japanese aims continued to be pressed during the 
ensuing years ; and it was China's principal object to 
checkmate both. In placing Mr. Denny at the king's 
side Li Hung-chang hoped for loyal support to his policy ; 
but he did not realise that one who had never been in the 
Chinese service would not be likely to feel loyalty to China, 
but would, on the contrary, feel that his first duty was to 
the country in whose service he was. Mr. Denny, instead 
of striving to maintain the dependence of Korea on China, 
sought in every way to set Korea on her own feet. At one 
time, in the summer of 1886, it was believed that the 
protection of Russia had been invoked ; but, if the report 
was true, the resolute front presented by China stopped 
the intrigue. [48] In the spring of 1888 other projects 
were manifest, leading more or less to independence — 
but to independence under a foreign protectorate ; on this 
occasion Mr. von Mollendorff was drawn from his obscurity 
and sent to Korea " to Checkmate Denny, who appears to 
have kicked over the vice-regal shaft, and he is to get the 
king back into Chinese harness again. "[49] 

§ 22. In these twelve years, from 1883 to 1894, China's 
agent in Korea was Yuen Shih-kai, who had been nomin- 
ated by Li Hung-chang to the post of Resident at Seoul. 
It was his mission, in its simplest aspect, to confirm the 
dependence of Korea on China, and to combat all efforts 
of the Korean king to assert his independence, whether 
those efforts were designed to lead him into the protecting 
arms of Russia or of Japan, or even to be a sovereign state 
under American inspiration. [50] He was active in urging 

[48] " The viceroy believes, or appears to believe, that the king has 
actually applied for Russian protection. . . . The Chinese minister at 
St. Petersburg has been instructed to persuade the Russians not to accept 
the task if imposed upon them, because, if they do, the viceroy will have 
to take measures, once for all, to frustrate such a scheme. The fleet has 
been ordered to Chemulpo, and an army is kept in readiness to embark at 
a moment's notice." — Same to same, Aug. 20th, 1886. 

[49] R. Hart to H. F. Merrill, May 29th, 1888. 

[50] In face of a possible breakdown owing to insomnia, Sir R. Hart 
wrote : 

" In all that concerns Korea, the one point to start from is that Korea 
is China's tributary and that China will not only fight anybody rather than 
give up her suzerainty, but will be forced to absorb Korea if troublesome 
scheming goes on there. It is useless for America to say ' assert your 
independence ! ' It is useless for Japan to say ' come to my arms ! ' There 
is as little logic in the one word independence without the rest of the syllogism 


on the decrepit government of Korea the adoption of 
useful reforms, but he constantly insisted on her depend- 
ence on China. [51] In carrying out his policy he held 
advanced views, which were shared by others, and he 
would have hastened the day when China should cut the 
Gordian knot by declaring the annexation of Korea, and 
the transformation of the kingdom into a province of 
the empire. But he went further ; with or without the 
knowledge and sanction of his superiors, [52] he was 

as there is religion in ' that blessed "word Mesopotamia ' without- the 
etceteras. The backing that your people [the Americans] are giving 
the King and the temptations the Japanese are putting in his path, are 
alike pitfalls : His Majesty will come a cropper ! But worse than this — 
such plotting is only too likely to disturb the peace of this quarter of the 
globe and set the outside dogs by the ears over the Korean bone. It is 
natural for you, as I once before wrote, to find your sympathy with Korean 
aspirations and angry over China's interference and system of vetoing : 
but you are the Suzerain's man and must keep the tributary right as far 
as is in your power — you can point the danger of irritating China, the 
futility of aiming at independence, and the practical good sense and quiet 
comfort of siding with the suzerain openly : if Korea ' flirts ' she will lose 
all her lovers after falling a prey to the monetary power of one of them ; 
but, if she boldly proclaims her engagement to China, other suitors will 
draw off and the right man, China, will secure her welfare." — R. Hart to 
H. F. Merrill, May 29th, 1888. 

[51] " Among the many advisers of the King none play as active a part 
as the Chinese representative here. I forward translation of a memorial 
which he presented to the King in September last, in which ... he makes 
suggestions on ten urgent measures of reform. . . . He furthermore urges 
the King to rely solely on the help of China, which alone can protect 
Korea from the insulting treatment of foreign nations." — Mr. W. W. 
RockhilltoMr. Bayard, Seoul, Jan. 28th, 1887, U.S. For. Rel., 1887, p. 256. 

[52] " As to Yuen : I too feel that Yuen is there with instructions and 
to carry out a policy, but I know nothing of either — and perhaps it's best 
I don't. When I spoke to the Viceroy about him, the reply was that those 
who criticise Yuen don't know what he is doing or why he does it : H. E. 
did not put it in so many words, but what he said gave that net impression. 
China cannot afford to recognise Korea's independence, and the longing 
looks other Powers cast in that direction must force China eventually to 
incorporate and rule the place like a province. Shufeldt's doings may 
make him the ' Hero ' of the occasion : if he gets Korea to flourish independ- 
ence before the world, China will soon follow it with a demonstration to the 
contrary ! Your present raison d'etre and my connection with the Korean 
Customs have one and the same foundation — Korea's dependence and the 
necessity there is to tell the world that China is Korea's suzerain : don't 
forget this ! And it is only by acquiescing in this that Korea will escape the 
rough handling sure to follow any scramble for territory. If you have 
anything to say in this connection to Koreans, take the line of telling 
them that, of the two, the independent will endanger Korea more than the 
dependent condition : China will fight all-comers to keep Korea, and 
she will win — and then she will chastise Korea for causing the row. My 
wn personal opinion is that China would act wisely were she to incorporate 
Korea openly and boldly and in thorough-going fashion — all the same, 
I cannot say that Yuen's mission is to carry out any such policy : but. 


believed to be bent on forcing the issue and making annexa- 
tion inevitable. [53] 

§ 23. Korea had coquetted with Russia and had eluded 
the inviting arms of Japan ; and in 1887 a Korean mission 
was sent to Washington. The Chinese government 
ordered that the mission must b^presented by the Chinese 
envoy and must always follow his advice [54] ; but the 
American government held that '•' as the United States 
have no privity with the inter-relations of China and 
Korea, we shall treat both as separate governments 
customarily represented here by their respective and 
independent agents " [55] ; and the mission was presented 
to the president on January 17th, 1888, without the open 
intervention of the Chinese legation. [56] There had long 
been friction between the Chinese Resident and the 
American adviser to the king [57] ; now there was no 
longer room for the two at the same court. Each demanded 
the dismissal of the other ; but one represented a mighty 
empire, not yet shorn of all its prestige, and it was ob- 
viously the private American citizen, without any govern- 
ment backing, serving the Asiatic king, who had to go. 
China took the matter in hand and, after negotiations in 
December, 1888, with the Taotai at Shanghai, Mr. Denny 
consented to withdraw from Korea on four conditions : 
1°. that the king should consent to his goings 2°. that 
Yuen Shih - kai should be recalled ; 3°. that Denny 

depend upon it, he has his instructions — knows what he's about — and is 
supported from China's side."— R. Hart to H. F. Merrill, Dec. 4th, 1886. 

[53] " I have repeatedly, and again this morning, warned the Viceroy 
against placing too much belief in Yuen's statements, and told him that 
I feel convinced that Yuen, instead of pacifying Korea, is bent upon 
making mischief. The Viceroy, although he has as yet not made up his 
mind with regard to Yuen, suspects him of playing an underhand game, 
and I dare say that very shortly somebody will be despatched from here 
to proceed to Korea and look closely into the state of affairs there. Be 
on the look out : I have a presentiment as if something serious was going 
to happen. The Peking gov't have placed the treatment of Korean 
matters entirely in the Viceroy's hands. He wishes quiet, but will not 
hesitate to effect a radical change in the executive, once he sees that 
temporising is a bad policy." — G. Detring to H. F. Merrill, Aug. 20th, 1886. 

[54] Telegram Li Hung-chang to Yuen Shih-kai, in Mr. Dinsmore to 
Mr. Bayard, Seoul, Nov. 17th, 1887, U.S. For. Rel., 1888, i, p. 441. 

[55] Mr. Bayard to Mr. Dinsmore, Jan. 26th, 1888, ibid., p. 443. 

[56] Ibid. 

[57] " You do not refer to the last Yuen- Denny incident : why did 
the secretaries bolt ? And what did they take with them ? And what will 
Denny do with it ? "— R. Hart to H. F. Merrill, Oct. 3rd, 1888, 

III— 2 


should be free to return if summoned by the king ; and 
4°. that his arrears of salary, $30,000, should be paid 
[by China]. [58] On these terms he withdrew, having, 
with the best intentions and from the most loyal motives, 
wrought much mischief. The recall of Yuen was con- 
fidently expected [59] ; Skit reasons of state were impera- 
tive and the danger from Japan too pressing to permit it, 
and he remained at his post. 

§ 24. During the five years, from 1889 to 1894, Russian 
plans were in abeyance, the Platonic support given by 
America to Korean dreams of independence was no 
longer in evidence, [60] and China and Japan were left face 
to face at the court of Seoul. The party of content, those 
who supported the existing administration, who desired 
to maintain the Chinese connexion, who wished to keep 
things as they were, found their support at the Chinese 
residency ; the party of discontent, the " Young Korea "' 
party who demanded reform, those who wished .to break 
away from the Chinese connexion in any direction whatso- 
ever, those who leaned towards Japan as a country which 
had modernised her outward form, and away from China 
and her antiquated system, all these found support at the 
Japanese legation. All the forms of oriental intrigue were 
adopted — demonstrations, denunciations, palace cabals, 
assassinations of ministers, revolts in the provinces — but 
in none was any proof ever obtainable of the agency of 
the side which would be benefited. Plotting and counter- 
plotting, charge and counter-charge, advice and counter- 
advice, all were poured into the ears of the distracted 
puppet king, until nothing was left but the final arbitra- 

[58] H. B. Morse to H. F. Merrill, Dec. 20th and 29th, 1888. The 
author conducted the negotiations at Shanghai. 

[59] " I think the viceroy has called upon the Korean government to 
dismiss Denny. Yuen is likely to come soon over here on sick leave, and 
not to return to Korea." — G. Detring to H. F. Merrill, Sept. 13th, 1888. 

In Sept. 1893 an imperial edict appointed Yuen taotai at Wenchow, 
a promotion since a taotaiship was in the official hierarchy of China, while 
his post of Resident led of itself to nothing and carried with it no extra- 
official emoluments ; his successor at Seoul even was named, but the 
change was not carried out. Cf. North-China Herald, Jan. 5th, 1894. 

[60] No correspondence with the American legation in Korea was 
included in the U.S. For. Rel. from 1889 to 1893 inclusive. 

Russian plans, though in abeyance, still lurked in the background, 
even up to the outbreak of the war. Cf. North-China Herald, Jan. 5th, 
March 30th, June 29th, 1894. 


merit of war. Both sides were confident of the result: 
China, that she could maintain her ancient suzerainty, 
substituting for its passive exercise a more active inter- 
ference in Korean affairs ; Japan, that she could expel 
China from Korea, and could establish herself there as the 
predominant power. With guns fully, loaded, a Ispark at 
the touch-hole was all that was needed to bring about a 
settlement of the status of Korea. 

§ 25. On March 18th, 1894, the legations at Seoul were 
informed that " the Tonghak were coming, many tens of 
thousands strong, and that an article of their creed was 
the expulsion of foreigners." [61] The Tonghak [" Society 
of] Eastern Learning " (the Orient for Orientals, Korea 
for Koreans), was a society founded in 1859, somewhat 
on the lines of the Triad Society of China, or of the Taiping 
outbreak, with a creed composed of the elements common 
to the Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist cults ; and, as it 
demanded innovations its members were naturally per- 
secuted wherever found. A delegation of the society came 
to the palace gates on March 29th, and waited there 
patiently until, on the 31st, a hearing of their petition 
was denied. During the following days anti-foreign 
placards appeared. [62] Yuen Shih-kai at once informed 
the legations that two Chinese men-ofrwar were on their 
way, and accepted full " responsibility for the safety of 
foreigners and foreign property. "[63] The Japanese 
residents were warned by their consul that the situation 
was full of danger for their families, as special anti- 
Japanese placards had appeared.[64] For some time the 
rumours of impending trouble were not verified, but in 
May it was reported that large bodies of Tonghak men 
were assembled in the southern provinces in revolt, bearing 
an ensign inscribed " Down with the Japanese and all 
foreigners." Troops sent against them were defeated, 
and the revolt seemed likely to develop into a serious 
rebellion [65] ; but the political situation was obscure — 

[61] Mr. Augustine Heard to Mr. Gresham, Seoul, April 4th, 1894, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1894, App. i, p. 5. 

[62] Ibid. 

[63] Ibid., April 7th, 1894, ibid., p. 10. 

[64] Ibid., April 20th, 1894, ibid., p. 10. 

[65] Ibid., May 1 6th ; Mr. Sill to Mr. Gresham, Seoul, May 1 7th, June 1st, 
1894; ibid., pp. 15, 17, 18. 


"The whole [movement] may be, and probably. is, under 
the control of a political party, bent on making trouble 
for the government, but who this party is, and what its 
strength, we have as yet no knowledge. "[66] China's 
interest lay chiefly in causing no trouble to the Korean 
government, and such political aims as there were in the 
Tonghak movement may fairly be said to have been in the 
interest of Japan. 

§ 26. In the same month of March occurred another 
act of oriental intrigue. The leader in the riot and coup 
d'etat of December, 1884, [67] was Kim Ok-kiun. When 
China re-established a semblance of her old authority over 
the Korean court, he fled to Japan for shelter and remained 
there for nine years, during which time at least one attempt 
to assassinate him was made. In March, 1894, he was 
" decoyed " to Shanghai, arriving there on the 27th, in 
the company of Hong Cheong-wu, a Korean of the Young 
Korea party, who had been educated in Paris, Wu Po-jen, 
interpreter to the Chinese legation in Tokyo, and a Japanese 
servant. The next day, March 28th, Kim Ok-kiun was 
murdered by Hong Cheong-wu in a Japanese hotel in the 
American settlement at Shanghai. Simultaneously at 
Tokyo another Korean refugee, Po Cheng-siu, informed 
the Japanese police of a plot against his life by a Korean, 
named Li Tsi-che ; the accused man fled for shelter to the 
Korean legation, from which he was forcibly taken by 
the Japanese police. At Shanghai the murderer Hong 
Cheong-wu fled to Wusung where he was arrested by the 
Shanghai municipal police, by whom he was handed to 
the Chinese authorities for trial. He, together with the 
body of his victim, were then sent in a Chinese ship-of-war 
to Korea, a request to that effect having come from the 
Korean king, and arrived at Chemulpo on April 12th. 
The body of Kim Ok-kiun was covered with a cloth in- 
scribed " Ok-kiun, arch rebel and heretic," and on the 14th 
it was decapitated and quartered, the head being exposed 
at Seoul, while the quarters, again subdivided, were sent 
to the eight provinces. Hong Cheong-wu was conducted 
in all honour to Seoul, and was there set at liberty.[68] 

[66] Mr. Heard to Mr. Gresham, May 16th, 1894, ubi sup. 
[67] Cf. antea, § 15. 

[68] Cordier, " Relations," iii, p. 228 ; Mr. Allen to Mr. Gresham, 
Seoul, April 6th, 17th, 1894, U.S. For. Rel., App. i, p. 16. Mr. Allen had 


If the Tonghak movement might be considered as adverse to 
the interests of China, the murder of Kim Ok-kiun and the 
course subsequently followed must be considered a chal- 
lenge to Japan. 

§ 27. This murder and the subsequent treatment of 
the murderer and of Kim Ok-kiim's body excited a pro- 
found sensation in Japan, but it gave rise to no direct 
action by that country ; but the successes of the Tonghak 
rebels, continued through May, caused the Korean govern- 
ment to appeal to the suzerain power. Yuen Shih-kai in 
May urged intervention ; but Li Hung-chang " insisted on 
an express request for assistance from the king of Korea, 
so that the responsibility for the movement should rest 
upon him." The appeal came and, in response to it, 
1500 Chinese troops were on June 6th despatched from 
Tientsin on steamers to Yashan (Asan), 725 more following 
shortly after, and three additional war-ships were sent 
to Chemulpo. " The viceroy has formally assured the 
Japanese government that these troops shall be withdrawn 
immediately upon the cessation of hostilities, and he has 
made the same assurances to the Russian minister [at 
Peking]. He has also stated to Japan that he would 
be pleased to have that government send one or two 
gunboats to Korea to protect its subjects there." [69] 
Japan took corresponding action. On June 10th 500 
Japanese marines came to Seoul ^ on June 13th a force 
of 1000 soldiers arrived in Seoul ; on June 16th a further 
body of 3000 soldiers landed at Chemulpo ; and it was 
" reported [in Seoul] that Japan is sending large numbers 
of troops to Fusan and W6nsan."[70] Meantime, before 
the arrival of these troops, Chinese or Japanese, the 
Korean forces had defeated the Tonghak rebels and cap- 
tured their leaders [71] ; but the rival forces remained 
watching each other. 

§ 28. China, in her action, had conformed exactly to 
her obligations as suzerain, and to the requirements of 

requested the American consul at Shanghai to deliver the murderer to the 
Korean authorities, for which the State Department very properly rebuked 
him. — Mr. Uhl to Mr. Sill, Washington, May 31st, 1894, ibid., p. 18. 

[69] Mr. C. Denby, Jr., to Mr. Gresham, Peking, June 9th, 1894, ibid., 
p. 20. 

[70] Mr. Sill to Mr. Gresham, Seoul, June 18th, 1894, ibid. 

[71] Ibid. 


the Tientsin convention of 1885 ; Japan stood on the con- 
vention and rejected China's claim to suzerainty, as she 
had rejected it in 1876. [72] In informing the Japanese 
envoy of the intention to send Chinese troops to Korea, 
the Tsungli Yamen based its action on the principle that 
'it is in harmony with our constant practice to protect 
our tributary states by sending out troops to assist them." 
The reply, on June 7th, declared that " although the 
words c tributary state ' appear in your note, the imperial 
[Japanese] government has never recognised Korea as a 
state tributary to China " ; and this declaration was 
repeated in a despatch of June 12th — " The imperial 
Japanese government has never recognised Korea as a 
state tributary to China." Japan then, on June 17th, 
proposed joint action by China and Japan in reorganising 
and refoiming the Korean administration. The Chinese 
reply declared that, on the basis of Korea's dependence on 
China, the suzerain had not the habit of interfering with 
the internal affairs of the vassal ; but, if Korea were to 
be considered, independent, neither country had a right to 
interfere. The Japanese government then, on June 22nd, 
informed China of its intention to undertake the task 
alone [73] ; and, on June 28th, the Japanese envoy at 
Seoul demanded of the king that he should declare that 
Korea was an independent state, and not a vassal of 

§ 29. Of Chinese troops there were now, at the end of 
June, 3000 at Yashan, and guards of a few hundred at 
Seoul and Chemulpo. Japan had sent larger numbers ; 
5000 encamped with batteries around Seoul, and some 
thousands more at Chemulpo, while large bodies were 
reported to -be entering at Fusan [75] ; about 18,000 in 
all on Korean soil. [76] The representatives at Seoul of 
the United States, Russia, France and England united in a 
joint note to those of China and Japan, requesting the 
" simultaneous withdrawal of Chinese and Japanese troops 

[72] Cf. antea, § 11. 

[73] These despatches cited in H. Norman, " The Peoples and Politics 
of the Far East," p. 362 ; also in North-China Herald, Nov. 9th, 1894. 

[74] Mr. Sill to Mr. Gresham, Seoul, July 2nd, 1894, U.S. For. Bel., 
1894, App. i, p. 28. 

[75] Same to same, June 25th, 1894, ibid., p. 22. 

[76] Ibid.., July 18th, 1894, ibid., p. 31. 


from Korean territory." [77] Each of the rivals insisted 
on the other making the first move, though one so normally 
friendly to Korean independence as the American repre- 
sentative at Seoul reported — " Neither of them will with- 
draw first ; in their presence there is much danger ; 
Chinese are in favour of simultaneous departure ; Japanese 
stubborn ; ulterior purpose suspected ; she seems to 
desire war ; Korean integrity menaced." [78] Somewhat 
later the American representative at Peking telegraphed — 
" Korean situation critical ; hostilities imminent ; Chinese 
government shows, conciliatory attitude in spite of aggres- 
sive attitude of Japan." [79] China was during this time 
soliciting the intervention of the Western powers, which 
Japan was unwilling to accept. [80] 

§ 30. The situation was indeed critical. The national 
attitude of Japan was reflected in the b aring of her troops 
then in Korea : before a shot had been fired, they assumed 
the manner of a conquering host. On July 15th the British 
consul-general, Mr. C. T. Gardner, while walking on a 
public road with. his wife and two friends, was assaulted 
twice by Japanese soldiers in uniform, and on the second 
occasion " recognised some of them as men who had previ- 
ously assaulted " him ; and the redress he looked for Was 
not accorded. [81] It was not as conqueror, however, so 
she declared, that Japan had come, but as a friend ; and 
the Japanese representative laid before the king's council 
a scheme of reorganisation under twenty-six heads, of 
which it is enough to say that one head, under the 
category "to be decided and put into operation within ten 
days," provided for the making of roads, and the construc- 
tion of railways and telegraphs. Working by diplomatic 
methods proving too slow, " the Japanese forces broke into 
and took possession of the royal palace " at 4 a.m. on 
July 23rd, carried off the queen and her children prisoners 
to the Japanese legation, and appointed, as regent over the 

[77] Joint note, June 25th, 1804, ibid., p. 23. 

[78] Mr. Sill to Mr. Uhl, telegram, June 24th, 1894, ibid., p. 22. 

[79] Mr. Denby, Jr., to Mr. Gresham, tel., July 3rd, 1894, ibid., p. 30. 

[80] Same to same, July 6th, 8th ; Mr. Gresham to Mr. Bayard (ambas- 
sador at London), July 20th; Mr. Sill to Mr. Gresham, Seoul, Oct. 12th, 1894; 
ibid., pp. 30, 30, 72. 

[81] Mr. Gardner to Mr. Otori, July 15; Mr. Otori to Mr. Gardner, 
July 17th, 1894 ; ibid., p. 33. 


king, the aged Tai-wen-kun, the king's father, then in his 
eightieth year. On the 27th the regent declared war on 
his suzerain and called upon the Japanese to expel the 
Chinese troops from the kingdom. [82] 

§ 31. China had in Korea only a weak force at Yashan, 
a small town, south of Chemulpo, at the head of Prince 
Jerome Gulf ; reinforcements, which left the Peiho in 
two steamers on July 21st, brought them up to about 
4500. A third ship, the British steamer Kowshing, char- 
tered for the purpose, left Taku at 10 a.m. on July 23rd, 
with. 1220 men and 12 guns, arrived in the gulf on the 
morning of the 25th, and was there met by the Japanese 
squadron. A boat from the cruiser Naniwa came along- 
side and the ship's papers were examined, and some 
hesitation was then shown as to the best way to deal with 
a ship which, while serving as a hostile transport, was 
rightly flying a neutral flag and claimed to have left port 
before a declaration of war. The Naniwa then signalled 
4 follow me " ; but meantime the troops on board, in a 
panic, had mutinied and declared their intention to resist, 
and they refused to allow the non-combatants on board 
to obey an order to " leave the ship." On this the Naniwa 
raised the red flag, and then discharged a torpedo, which 
missed, and then opened fire with all her guns. The 
Kowshing went down in less than half-an-hour, and of the 
1300 on board, about 170 escaped. by swimming ashore, 
including Major C. von Hanneken, military instructor to 
the Chinese army ; and the master, Captain Galsworthy, 
and the first officer, Mr. Tamplin, with some Chinese, were 
rescued by boats from the Naniwa. The Japanese fired 
on the swimmers in the water. [83] The British Foreign 
Office decided that war had already broken out at 4 a.m. 
on July 2 3rd, by the Japanese invasion of the royal palace 
at Seoul ; accepting this decision, it must also be accepted 
that the Japanese were within their rights in sinking a 
transport on which enemy troops refused to surrender. 

§ 32. Leaving a brigade to cover Seoul and Chemulpo, 
General Oshina, with the 5th Division of 13,500 men 

[82] Mr. Sill to Mr. Gresham, July 24th, 1894, ibid., p. 40 ; Cordier, 
" Relations," iii, p. 235. 

[83] Sworn statement of C. von Hanneken, U. S. For. Rel., 1894, App. i, 
p. 45 ; Note of Protest of Capt. Galsworthy and Mr. Tamplin, Aug. 17th, 
in North- China Herald, Aug. 24th ,1894. 


and the 9th Brigade of mixed troops, a force of about 
20,000 of all arms, marched against the Chinese under 
General Yeh at Yashan : he struck them at daybreak on 
July 29th, and, after a battle of five hours, obtained a 
complete victory ; the Chinese lost 500 (the Japanese put 
it at 1200) killed and wounded, and four guns, and the 
Japanese 75. [84] The remnants of the Chinese force 
joined the main body at Pingyang, surrendering to the 
Japanese the whole of Korea from Seoul to the south. 
The issue was joined. A declaration of the causes of the 
war was at once, on August 1st, made by both China and 
Japan. [85] 

[84] Cordier, op. cit., p. 237. 

[85] Text of Chinese decree in Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham, Peking, 
Aug. 5th, 1894, U.S. For. Rel., 1894, App. i, p. 53 ; text of Japanese decree 
in Nagao, " La Guerre Sino-Japonaise," p. 20. 


1. China's aim in Korean affairs 

2. China wished only to maintain status quo 

3. Japan inspired by spirit of conquest 

4. Problems of extraterritoriality a factor . 

5. Proposals for foreign mediation, July, 1894 . 

6. Shanghai declared outside war zone 

7. Chinese mob attack on British steamer . 

8. Japanese victory at Pingyang, Sept. 16 . 

9. Naval battle of the Yalu (Haiyang), Sept. 17 

10. Perturbation of the Chinese. 

11. Renewed proposals for foreign mediation, Oct. 

12. Japanese progress in Manchuria, Oct. -Dec. 

13. Prince Kung renews proposals for mediation, Nov. 

14. Capture of Port Arthur ; massacre ; Nov. 21 

15. Cross-currents of negotiation, Nov. 17-26 

16. Chinese officials severely dealt with 

17. Surrender of Weihaiwei and fleet, Feb. 12, 1895 

18. Peace embassy of Chang Yin-hwan and Shao Yu-lien, Jan 

19. Their credentials declared unsatisfactory, Feb. 2 

20. Japanese progress in Manchuria, Jan. -March . 

21. Li Hung-chang appointed special ambassador, Feb. 

22. Negotiations opened at Shimonoseki, March 20 

23. Chinese ambassador wounded by Japanese fanatic 

March 24 

24. Some concessions thereupon made by Japan 

25. Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed April 17 

26. Independence of Korea 

27. Liaotung, ceded to Japan, retroceded to China 

28. Commotion in Formosa against cession . 

29. Republic of Formosa declared, May 24 

30. Movement engineered by Chinese war party 

31. Li Ching-fang delivers Formosa to Japan, June 

32. Japanese land May 29 ; collapse of republic 

33. Formosa occupied ; north, June ; south, Oct 

34. Franco -Russian loan, July, 1895 . 

35. Anglo-German loans, 1896, 1898 . 

36. Chinese hostility to missions after defeat 

37. Results of the war .... 



§ 1. On the cut-and-dried lines of Western practice, 
China must be considered to have failed in her duty to 
Korea. She was the suzerain power, and as such was 
bound to protect her vassal from external aggression and 
internal disorder. This duty she never renounced ; but 
the Chinese empire had been unable to protect its own 
domain from external aggression, and had for forty years 
been the prey of internal disorder ; and the emperor was 
not able to give to Korea what he could not secure for his 
own dominions. The Chinese policy in Korea, repeatedly 
expressed, was, nominally, to give this protection, but in 
all other respects to interfere as little as possible in the 
administration of the kingdom ; and, wisely or unwisely, 
this policy of non-interference was carried so far that 
Korea was left free to .make her own treaty arrangements 
with foreign powers. In the same spirit China decided 
that " reform " must not be imposed on Korea by superior 
force. The administration of Korea was probably the 
most corrupt in the world, and a larger 'proportion of its 
population were pensioners of the government than in 
any other country ; but any incitement to reform would 
have come with a bad grace from the suzerain empire, of 
which the administration was honeycombed with pecula- 
tion, and the resources of which seemed to exist for little 
more than the maintenance of the officials. Coupled with 
the policy of protection and non-interference, China had 
the resolve to maintain Korea as a buffer state ; Liuchiu, 
Annam, Siam and, in effect, Burma had, one after the 
other, renounced her suzerainty ; now only Korea remained 
to keep Russia and Japan at arm's length. 

§ 2. China made some mistakes in her Korean policy 
at first ; but after Korean affairs had been placed in the 
hands of Li Hung-chang, and from the time when he had 
recognised his first false step and had replaced Mr. von 
Mollendorff by Mr. Merrill, the mistakes were fewer. [1] 
The East must not be judged by the principles of the 
West ; it must be recognised that Chinese statesmen are 
opportunists, and are seldom able to follow a consistent 
policy ; and care must be taken not to be led astray by 

[1]. "Nothing could have been more correct of late years than the 
attitude of the viceroy Li and the resident Yuen towards bot - apan 
and Russia." — Editorial, North-China Herald, June 22nd, 1894. 


the inherent merits of " reform." With this proviso it 
may be said that the viceroy's course in Korean affairs 
was wise ; Yuen Shih-kai had long wished to force an 
issue, but he was restrained by his superior. When, on 
the outbreak of the Tonghak rebellion, Chinese troops 
were sent to maintain order, due notice was given to Japan 
as required by the convention of 1885 ; and when the rival 
forces were face to face in Korea, China consented to 
simultaneous withdrawal, which was refused by Japan. 
China asked only that the status^ quo should be maintained ; 
and, to maintain it, was driven to fight, though much 
against her wish. 

§ 3. Japan showed no such reluctance. Of a fighting 
race, her soldiers in Korea showed the spirit which animated 
the nation, even before the outbreak of hostilities [2] ; 
and this spirit reflected the intentions of the government. [3] 
Her one reasonable cause for going to war was the refusal 
of China to co-operate in imposing reforms on the Korean 
government. Japan had herself remodelled her own 
administration, but that gave no valid ground for requiring 
another and more backward nation to accept over-night 
a complete transformation of the fabric of government. 
Moreover Japan was estopped by her own action : in the 
Japan-Korean treaty of 1876 Japan had imposed on Korea 
the assertion that Korea was an independent state ; and 
at no time, surely, in the history of the world have such 
drastic reforms been imposed on an independent state. 
The reform of Korea was, however, only a pretext. Japan 
was resolved on aggressive action in order to establish her 
position among the nations, and, specifically, to transfer 
from China to herself the predominant position in Korea. 
Before the war broke out a statement of some significance 
was made by a leader among the Japanese statesmen, 
Count Okuma, who was head of the Treasury from 1873 
tc 1881, was minister of Foreign Affairs in 1888 and again 
in 1896, and in 1894 was leader of the opposition which 
was pushing the government into war. He declared — 
"The time has at last arrived for Japan to wipe out the 

[2] Cf. chap, i, § 30. 

[3] " To escape a conflagration at home, she [Japan] 3teps jauntily- 
forward to invite a veritable holocaust abroad." — Corresp. from Japan r 
in North-China Herald, July .20th, 1894. 


disgrace of 1884. . . . By making a judicious use of the 
present unique opp6rtunity, it will be possible for the 
Japanese government to retrieve all past errors, and make 
the empire respected and feared, not only by Korea, but 
also by the rest of the world." [4] When the war was 
actually impending, a Japanese diplomatic representative 
in Europe stated — " This at least I can tell you for certain, 
we neither can nor will leave Korea again until our aim 
has been attained in one way or another. We are fighting 
in Korea for our own future — I might also say for our 
independence. Once let Korea fall into the hands of a 
European power, and our independence will be threat- 
ened. "[5] The motives of Japan in Korea were those 
influencing Edward III in Aquitaine, Friedrich II in 
Silesia, and Napoleon in Italy and Spain. 

§ 4. A special reason moving Japan to take action 
against China at this .particular moment is to be found 
in the problems of extraterritoriality. Western powers 
have generally, during the nineteenth century, claimed 
this exceptional privilege [6] for their subjects commorant 
in independent oriental states — Turkey, Persia, Siam, 
China, Japan, etc. ; but for some time Japan had been 
restive in this position of subordination, and had since 
1886 been taking diplomatic steps to have the privilege 
abrogated. These efforts were finally successful ; and, on 
July 16th, 1894 ? a treaty between England and Japan 
was signed at London, providing for the abolition of 
extraterritoriality, and for a moderate increase in the 
customs tariff of duties ; per contra British subjects were 
to be permitted to travel and trade freely throughout 
Japan, and no longer to be restricted to the treaty ports. 
The new tariff was to come into force at once, and the 
other provisions after five years. [7] This treaty was signed, 
it should be noted, at a time when it was generally thought 
that Japan could not possibly succeed in her enterprise 
against China. Similar proposals had been made to 

[4] Count Okuma in Hochi Shimbun (a newspaper which was his 
official organ), cited in North-China Herald, June 29th, 1894. 

[5] Kolnischer Zeitung, July 25th, from its London correspondent, 
cited in ibid., Sept. 7th, 1894. 

[6] Cf. H. B. Morse, " The Trade and Administration o* China, : ' 
chap, vii, " Extraterritoriality." 

[7] Text of treaty in North-China Herald, Sept. 14th, 1894. 


America, France, Russia, and Germany, but all except the 
first made technical objections. [8] The United States 
was ready to follow the English lead, and a treaty to the 
same effect was signed at Washington on November 22nd, 
1894 ; and the other Western powers then acceded ; in 
all these treaties the abolition of extraterritoriality and 
the grant of free movement were deferred until 1899. In 
her greatly improved position among nations, it was, 
however, important to Japan that the privilege of extra- 
territoriality should be claimed for Japanese subjects in 
China and should be denied to Chinese in Japan, and that 
Japan should be able to demand free movement for her 
own subjects in China and deny it to Chinese in Japan. 
This could only be attained by Japan if she could take her 
place alongside the nations of the West, and success in 
a war with China \yas the only way to accomplish this end. 

§ 5. The war disturbed the calculations of all the 
Western powers. Russia made the first move alone. 
Early in July the Novoe Vremya declared in an inspired 
article that " Russia must uphold the autonomy of Korea, 
and, if Japan attempts to uphold her supremacy, Russia 
will establish a Russo-Chinese protectorate." [9] Nothing- 
more was heard of this move. China, desirous of avoiding 
war, appealed to the powers. Their representatives at 
Seoul had, on June 25th, urged simultaneous withdrawal 
of the Chinese and Japanese troops in Korea [10] ; and, 
on July 8th, the viceroy Li Hung-chang requested the 
good offices of the American government, [11] and the 
British Foreign Office asked if that government would co- 
operate [12] in the same object. The American Secretary 
of State declined to intervene — " this government cannot 
join another power even in a friendly intervention " — but 
he suggested arbitration of the questions at issue. [13] 

§ 6. On the approach of war, the status of Shanghai 
was a matter of concern to the commercial nations. On 
July 23rd the Taotai informed the consuls of his " intention 

[8] Hinckley, " American Consular Jurisdiction in the Orient," p. 187. 
[9] Telegram, London, July 10th, North-China Herald. July 13th, 1894. 
[10] Cf. chap, i, § 29. 

[11] Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham, July 8th, 1894, U.S. For. Rel., 1894, 
App. i, p. 30. 

[12] Mr. Gresham to Mr. Bayard, July 20th, 1894, ibid., p. 36. 
[13] Ibid. 


to take measures, if it became necessary, to block the 
Wusung bar." There were general protests against this 
threat to stop the entire tradeaof this port, of which 
the direct foreign trade in * 1894 was valued at 
Tls. 155,083.750 [14] ; and the British representative at 
Tokyo obtained from the Japanese government an under- 
taking to " regard Shanghai as outside the sphere of its 
warlike operations. "[15] The Wusung bar was, notwith- 
standing, partially blocked, [16] and, in a panic, the Chinese 
constructed barriers across the approaches to other ports — 
Canton, Foochow, Ningpo, etc. The Japanese authorities 
soon repented their decision to respect Shanghai, and for 
this there was good cause : the principal Chinese arsenal 
was there, and the port was freely used to ship munitions 
of war, supplies, and even troops; but, though "the 
Japanese government has shown a decided inclination to 
withdraw from the promise that Shanghai would not be 
attacked," no immediate action was taken by Japan. 
The American government intervened in conjunction with 
England and France. [17] The agitation continued, how- 
ever, in the Japanese press, and, in January, the British 
admiral was instructed "to use what means he deems 
necessary to ensure the proper observance " of the 
neutrality agreement. [18] 

§ 7. The Chinese were much stirred over the sinking 
of the Kowshing, which they characterised as an act of 
barbarity, committed without warning in time of peace. 
On the declaration of war the Japanese residents in Peking 
and Tientsin were taken on the British steamer Chunking, 
and she proceeded to Tangku, at the mouth of the river, 
to await the staffs of the legation and consulate. There, 
at 1 a.m. on August 2nd, she was raided by a mob of 
Chinese soldiers, without uniform but armed, crying, 
" Kowshing, Kowshing," and the Japanese on board were 
robbed and hustled about. [19] The Chinese authorities 
for a long time evaded their responsibility ; but finally, 

[14] This was 53 per cent, of the entire foreign trade of China in 1894. 
[15] North-China Herald, July 27th, 1894 ; Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham, 
Aug. 6th, 1894, U.S. For. Rel., 1894, App. i, p. 54. 
[16] Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham, ubi sup. 
[17] Same to same, Sept. 15th, 1894, ibid., p. 58. 
[18] North-China Herald, Jan. 11th, 1895. 
[19] Ibid., Aug. 10th, 1894. 


on November 14th, on the insistent demand of the British 
envoy, Mr. N. O' Conor, the steamer, with the British 
ensign at the fore, received a salute of "twenty-one guns from 
the Taku forts as a recognition of the wrong committed. 

§ 8. Of the Chinese force at Yashan, a portion left the 
camp before the action of July 29th, and joined the Chinese 
army of Korea at Pingyang, mid-way from Seoul to the 
Yalu. From this point the army reached out in the direc- 
tion of Seoul, but, one after the other, the outposts were 
driven in. In September it was stated that, with estimates 
ranging from 20,000 to 108,000, the Chinese force at Ping- 
yang probably numbered 40,000, and that the Japanese 
troops in Korea numbered about 80,000 [20] ; a more 
precise calculation gives 14,500 as the actual number of 
Chinese troops brought into action at Pingyang.[21] Three 
Japanese columns converged on Pingyang ; one of these 
columns made a premature attack on September 15th, and 
was repulsed after a combat lasting twelve hours. The 
next day the attack was renewed, and, after a struggle of 
some hours, the Chinese were completely routed ; their 
loss was 6,600 and that of the Japanese was declared to 
have been 632. Only one of the Chinese generals, Tso 
Pao-kwei, showed any personal courage, and none mani- 
fested any capacity- for leadership ; one, General Yeh, 
with his force from Yashan, wished to raise the white flag 
on the evening of the first day. The Chinese soldiers 
behaved no better than their leaders ; those who made 
some stand were thereby made late in retreating, and 
suffered heavy loss. The Japanese occupied Pingyang, 
and the remnants of the Chinese force hastened to withdraw 
across the Yalu. 

§ 9. Meantime the main Chinese army was forming 
along the Yalu, and troops and supplies were despatched 
to Tatungkow, at the mouth of that river. The transports 
carrying them were convoyed by the Peiyang squadron, 
China's only effective fleet, under the command of Admiral 
Ting Ju-chang. He had been in supreme command since 
1880, and, under the tutelage of Vice-Admiral W. M. Lang 
(captain R.N., " lent " by the British Admiralty for the 

[20] Mr. Sill to Mr. Gresham, Sept. 17th, 1894, U.S. For. Rel., 1894, 
App. i, p. 59. 

[21] Cordier, " Relations," iii, p. 246. 


purpose), had brought it to a relatively high degree of 
efficiency. With Admiral Ting on this occasion were 
several foreigners, including Messrs. von Hanneken, W. F. 
Tyler, McGiffin and others ; and under his command were 
two iron-clad battle-ships, and ten unarmoured cruisers, 
a total of twelve ships of 35,070 tons, besides four torpedo- 
boats. At noon on September 17th the Japanese fleet 
under Admiral Ito Sukenori came into sight oft' the mouth 
of the Yalu ; under his command were twelve ships of 
about 40,000 tons. The Chinese were strong in the two 
battle-ships, but the Japanese fleet was more homogeneous, 
and had the advantage in speed and in the number of quick- 
firing guns. The first shot was fired at 12.45, and the 
battle continued until 5 p.m., when both fleets were short 
of ammunition. On the Japanese side 239 were killed and 
wounded; and on the Chinese about 600, including those 
drowned ; among the wounded was the Chinese admiral. 
The Japanese flagship was seriously injured ; four Chinese 
ships were sunk or driven on shore, and one turned tail 
and ran out of the action. The tactical victory at the 
Battle of the Yalu (or of Haiyang) remained in a sense with 
the two Chinese battle-ships ; for it was the Japanese 
fleet which withdrew at night-fall, and the Chinese trans- 
ports discharged their troops and supplies ; but from that 
day the mastery of the sea remained with the Japanese. [22] 
§ 10. The result of these two battles produced a great 
effect on China. Before this the ruling powers could make 
light of the war, and go on with their preparations for a 
fitting celebration of the empress dowager's sixtieth birth- 
day [23] ; but now all was alarm. An act of justice was 
first performed in the decapitation of Captain Fang of the 
small cruiser Tsiyuen, who had shown the white feather 
once on the day the Kowshing was sunk, and a second time 
at the Yalu. The perturbation of mind in the nation was 
manifested against Li Hung-chang and his family and 
proteges. The ammunition of the fleet was proved, by the 

[22] Cordier, op. cit., p. 248 ; Inouye Jukichi, " The Battle of Haiyang " ; 
North-China Herald, Sept. 21st, Oct. 5th, 1894, Jan. 18th, 1895. 

[23] " The fates are not precisely smiling on the Empress Dowager's 
birthday preparations, and, if Japan undertakes a march on Peking, I 
doubt if there will be any celebration ; of course the Court ignores the 
war ostensibly and lives its life as usual." — R. HarttoH. Kopsch, Aug. 17th, 



test of battle, to be defective ; for this the viceroy's son- 
in-law, Chang Pei-lun, and his nephew, both holding 
important posts in the ordnance department, were cashiered 
and sent to trial for peculation. The viceroy himself 
was held accountable for the outbreak of the war, for its 
conduct, and for its unsuccessful prosecution, and against 
him now rose the host of enemies he had inevitably made 
in twenty-five years of masterful rule as viceroy and as 
Grand Secretary ; he was, however, still left in his office 
and in possession of his titles, but he was admonished of 
his errors and deprived of his two highest decorations, 
the '■' yellow riding-jacket " which he had received for 
services in the Taiping rebellion, and the " three-eyed 
peacock's feather " granted for the campaign against the 
Nienfei.[24] In the nation the feelings of the people 
were shown by many hostile manifestations against 
foreigners at the ports ; and at Peking the Chinese attitude 
was considered so threatening that the married members 
of the customs Inspectorate staff were replaced by un- 
married men, in, wise precaution against what the winter 
might bring about. [2 5] 

§ 11. China now made a second attempt to obtain the 
intervention of the Western powers to secure peace on 
the basis " that the independence of Korea should be 
guaranteed by the powers, and that Japan should receive 
an indemnity for the expense of the war." On October 6th 
this proposal was submitted by the British Foreign Office 
to the American, French, German and Russian govern- 
ments ; the American government replied that " the 
president can not join England, Germany, Russia and 
France in an intervention as requested "•; and, after it 
had been pointed out that " the intervention contemplated 
would be limited to diplomatic action," the proposal was 

§ 12. After the occupation of Pingyang the Japanese 
forces advanced and, by September 30th, had cleared 
Korea as far as the Yalu. The crossing of that river was 

[24] Imp. decree Sept. 17th, 1894, in Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham, 
Sept. 18th, 1894, U.S. For. Rel., 1894, App. i, p. 61. 

[25] North-China ^Herald, Oct. 12th, 1894. 

[26] Mr. Goschen to Mr. Gresham, Oct. 6th ; Mr. Gresham to Mr. 
Goschen, Oct. 12th ; Mr. Goschen to Mr. Gresham, Oct. 14th, 1894 ; U.S. 
For. Rel., J 894, App. i, p. 70. 


effected on October 24th, and the Chinese troops were 
forced back to Kiuliencheng, and thence two days later to 
Fenghwangcheng, and thence to Motienling,- a mountain 
range which was forced by the Japanese after a fairly 
obstinate defence. The two armies again met at Hsiimen- 
cheng, ten miles south-east of Haicheng, on December 11th, 
and, after a battle lasting two days, the Chinese were again 
defeated. The invading force then took Haicheng. Mean- 
time, on October 24th, a second. Japanese army under 
Count Oyama landed at Pitzewo, to the north-east of 
Port Arthur, scornfully disregarding the fortress and the 
Chinese fleet ; on November 6th it occupied Talienwan 
(later, in succession, Dalny and Dairen), and completed 
the investment of Port Arthur. 

§ 13. The alarm felt at Peking was greater than ever. 
An unprecedented event occurred in the summons to 
Peking of Mr, (General) von Hanneken and Mr. Detring ; 
the former had at least one audience with the emperor, 
and both were called to frequent conferences with the 
ministers of state, [27] and it is certain that by both the 
actual facts were bluntly declared. [28] The empress 
dowager's sixtieth birthday, November 7th (10th day of 
the 10th moon), for the celebration of which an imperial 
grant of ten million taels had been allocated, passed 
almost without notice [29] ; and already, in October, 
Prince Kung had been recalled to his former post, charged 
with the task of "piecing together the cup which the 
present ministers have smashed to the floor." [30] On 
November 3rd he appealed to the American government, 
by virtue of the treaty of Tientsin (art. i), to solicit its good 
offices in intervening between China and Japan [31] ; 
and the next day he summoned a conference of the American, 
British, German, French and Russian envoys to ask the 

[27] Tel., Tientsin, Oct. 29th, North-China Herald, Nov. 2nd ; Peking 
corresp., Nov. 8th, ibid t Nov. 16th, 1894. 

[28] From his acquaintance with both, the author does not hesitate 
to assert this. 

[29] " There were no public rejoicings or fetes of any kind." — Peking 
corresp. North-China Herald, ubi sup. 

[30] Prince Kung's own phrase, cited in Peking corresp., Oct. 27th, 
ibid., Nov. 9th, 1894. 

[31] Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham, tel., Nov. 3rd, 1894, U.S. For. Rel., 
1894, App. i, p. 73. Mr. Charles Denby, senior', had now returned to his 
post a$ American envoy at Peking. 


joint intervention of their governments ; the proposal in 
each case was to take as the basis of negotiation the 
independence of Korea and an indemnity to Japan. [32] 
England was willing, but would not again take the initia- 
tive ; Russia and France were willing ; Germany con- 
sidered intervention useless at present. [33] Before receiv- 
ing this request the American government had inquired 
if its intervention would be acceptable to both China and 
Japan [34] ; and after its receipt, its envoy at Peking was 
informed that, " while the president prefers to act alone, 
he will not decline request to act jointly with other powers 
simply in determining amount of indemnity if Japan's 
consent is obtained." [35] The Japanese government 
declined all proposals for intervention — " The imperial 
[Japanese] government have no wish to press their victories 
beyond the limits which will guarantee to them the just 
and reasonable fruits of the war ; these limits cannot, 
however, be said to have been reached until China finds 
herself in a position to approach Japan directly on the 
subject of peace. "[36] 

§ 14. The Chinese fleet, after the battle of the Yalu, 
had proceeded without further molestation to Port Arthur, 
and went thence to Weihaiwei, taking no share in the 
defence of Port Arthur. Upon the occupation of Talienwan, 
General Sung led a force of 8,000 Chinese troops south from 
Motienling to harass the Japanese ; arriving at Kinchow, 
he attacked the enemy on November 21st and was defeated 
The defence of Port Arthur (Lushunkow) was directed b 
General Wei Ju-cheng, commanding the best-traij j. 
division of China's best army ; but the measures adopted 
by him were no more effective than the rest of the Chinese 
conduct of this campaign, and the final assault, delivered 
on November 21st, gave to the Japanese full possession of 
fortress, port and town. This victory was sullied by a 
massacre of many Chinese, the number of those killed after 

[32] Same to same, Nov. 4th, 1894, ibid., p. 74. 

[33] Tel. London, Nov. 6th, 10th, in North-China Herald, Nov. 9th, 
16th, 1894. 

[34] Mr. Gresham to Mr. Denby and Mr. Dun [Tokyo], tel., Nov. 6th, 
1894, U.S. For. Rel., 1894, App. i, p. 76. 

[35] Mr. Gresham to Mr. Denby, Nov. 8th, 1894, ibid., p. 77. 

[36] Note verbale, Tokyo, Nov. 17th, in Mr. Dun to Mr. Gresham, 
Nov. 29th, 1894, ibid., p. 79. 


the occupation being put by some as high as two thousand. 
The massacre occurred, though its extent is denied ; it 
is explained by^the uncontrollable fury of the Japanese 
assaulting forces when 'they came across the mutilated 
bodies and detached heads of their comrades who had been 
taken prisoners, and by the general custom of Chinese 
soldiers in defeat of throwing off their* loose uniform coats 
and appearing in the ordinary undress garb of the rustic 
labourer. [37] It was undoubtedly true that " a g^eat 
many more Chinese have been killed than there was any 
real need for i: [38] ; but it is at least supposable that, 
in the heat of a contested assault and under the same 
provocation, the soldiery of most other nations might 
have acted in the same way. 

§ 15. Meantime two independent attempts at negotia- 
tion had been initiated, which crossed and interfered with 
each other. On November 17th the Japanese government 
informed the American government that it "requests in 
the event of China desiring to approach Japan upon the 
subject of peace it shall be done through the legation of 
the United States at Peking." [39] The American envoy 
at Peking thereupon telegraphed — " Yesterday [Novem- 
ber 22nd] China made through me direct overtures to 
Japan for peace : basis, independence Korea ; war 
indemnity. "[40] A day or two before this step was taken, 
and at least five days before it was known in Peking, an 
imperial decree, in answer to a memorial from Li Hung- 
chang, directed the viceroy to despatch Mr. G. Detring to 
Japan to request a suspension of hostilities and to ask on 
what conditions Japan would consent to make peace. [41] 
Mr. Detring arrived at Kobe on November 26th and was 
informed that, "as he was not properly accredited by the 

[37] Mr". James Creel-man, tel. Yokohama, Dec. 11th, to New York 
World ; Nagao, " La Guerre Sino-Japonaise," pp. 80, 83 seq. ; explana- 
tion by Viscount Mutsu in Mr. Dun to Mr. Gresham, Dec. 20th ; Lieut. M. J. 
O'Brien [U.S. mihtary attache] to Mr. Dun, Dec. 28th, 1894, in Mr. Dun 
to Mr. Gresham, Jan. 7th, 1895 ; ¥.S. For. Rel., 1894, App. i, pp. 85, 88. 

[38] Lieut. O'Brien's words, De£. 3rd, in Mr. Dun to Mr. Gresham, 
Dec. 29th, 1894, ubi sup. 

[39] Mr. Dun to Mr. Gresham, Nov. 17th ; Mr. Gresham to Mr. Denby, 
Nov. 19th ; same to Mr. Yang Yu, Nov. 20th, 1894 ; ibid., p. 80. 

[4Q] Mr. Denby to Mr., Gresham, Nov. 23rd, 1894, ibid.*, p. 81. 

[41] Li Hung-chang to Count I to, Nov. 18th, 1894, in Mr. Denby to 
Mr, Gresham, Jan. 14th, 1895, ibid., p. 92 ; North-China Herald, Nov. 30th, 
Dec. 7th, 28th, 1894. 


government of China, he could not be received or recognised 
in any way."[42] Mr. Detring was, in fact and in form, 
an envoy commissioned by Li Hung-chang and " was not 
clothed with the power of a plenipotentiary. "[43] In 
any case, immediately on reporting his arrival at Kobe, 
Mr. Detring was recalled by a telegram from Prince Kung, 
who was then (November 26th) basing his hopes on the 
American intervention. [44] But this too fell through 
owing to the doubts suggested to the Japanese by the 
informality of Mr. Detring' s mission. 

§ 16. The Chinese court manifested its alarm at the 
fall of Port Arthur in other ways as well. On December 22nd 
an imperial decree allowed three of the generals to retrieve 
their conduct ; they were deprived of rank and titles, and 
permitted to remain with the army, but " if they show 
cowardice in the future Sungking [the general commanding] 
is ordered ... to behead these three men at once in 
accordance with martial law." [45] »A decree of Decem- 
ber 26th rejected the application of Fuyii, the civil governor 
designate of Mukden, to resign ; and another of the same 
date transferred the supreme command from Li Hung- 
chang to Liu Kun-yi, then viceroy at Nanking. [46] The 
latter evaded compliance with this order, and on 
February 19th Wang Wen-shao assumed the office of 
viceroy at Tientsin. A decree of December 27th ordered 
that Admiral Ting Ju-chang, the Taotai Kung Chao-yu [in 
civil command at Port Arthur], and General Wei Ju-chang 
[in military command there] be sent for trial ; the first 
was not brought to trial, General Wei was cashiered, and 
the Taotai Kung was condemned to decapitation, but the 
execution of his sentence was deferred. [47] The general's 
brother, Wei Ju-kwei, who commanded a division of the 
Peiyang army and had been in the battle of Pingyang, 
was decapitated on January 17th, 1895. [4 8] In short 
the court and the administration were rent by the 

[42] Mr. Dun to Mr, Gresham, Dec. 7th, 1894, U.S. For. Rel., 1894, 

A PP- i» P- 83. 

[43] Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham, Jan. 14th; 1895, ubi sup. 

[44] North-China Herald, Pec. 28th, 1894. 

[45] Ibid. 

[4G] Ibid., Jan. 4th, 1895. 

[47] Ibid., Jan. 4th, Feb. 22nd, 1895. 

[48] Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham. Jan. 18th, 1895. U.S. For. Rel., 1894, 
A PP- i> P- 96. 


struggle between the supporters and the enemies of Li 
Hung-chang, the latter having at this time the upper- 

§ 17. The Japanese continued their military progress. 
Tengchowfu in Shantung was bombarded by ships, of war 
on January 18th, again on the 19th, and again on the 
26th. [50] This apparently eccentric movement was carried 
out with complete disregard of the Chinese fleet, which had 
been shut in Weihaiwei by a belt of contact mines, laid by 
the Chinese for the protection of the port ; and it was, 
presumably, designed to distract attention from another 
movement a hundred miles further east. On January 20th 
a force of 20,000 Japanese troops, with 10,000 transport 
coolies, under Marshal Kuroda, landed at Yungcheng Bay 
on the south side of the Shantung North-east Promontory, 
about thirty miles east of Weihaiwei. After taking the 
city of Yungcheng, they advanced to the siege of the 
fortress, where, under the shelter of its guns, lay the 
Chinese fleet. The government had decided that this fleet 
should not go out and fight. Its ammunition had not 
been suitably replenished and the experience of the Yalu 
battle had indicated the hopelessness of another attempt 
against the better organised Japanese. The hope lay in 
the success of the peace proposals now being made and the 
possibility that thereby China might be allowed to retain 
what remained of her fleet ; but in this hope the Chinese 
were disappointed. The forts lining the south shore of 
the harbour were attacked on January 26th. The resist- 
ance by the Chinese soldiers, who were disheartened and 
short of pay, was negligible. That these mainland forts 
would fall an easy prey to the Japanese was known to 
Admiral Ting, and arrangements were made by means of 
parties of naval men to blow up the magazines and destroy 
the guns as soon as possession by the Japanese was im- 
minent. These arrangements were successful as far 
as they went, but spare parts brought by the Japanese 
from Port Arthur soon put some of the guns in order and 
they commenced a bombardment of the Island of Liukung- 
tao by these guns, as well as by the Japanese fleet. One 
Chinese vessel was sunk by gunfire and several others, 

[49] North-China Herald, Jan. 25th, 1895. 
[50] Ibid., Feb. 1st, 8th, 1895. 


including the flagship, the Tingyueh, by torpedo boats 
which managed to get inside the defences. Surrender 
was inevitable. Admiral Ting Ju-chang handed over 
command of the fleet to his second in command, Liu 
Pu-chin, and committed suicide ; the latter transferred 
the command to the third, and also committed suicide ; 
on Liukungtao, the general commanding the forts, Chang 
Ta-san, and his second, General Tai, also committed 
suicide ; in this way they redeemed their reputation 
from that of poltroon to that of hero, [51] and saved 
themselves from decapitation and their families from 
death and confiscation of their estates. [52] What was 
left of the fortress surrendered on February l^th, to- 
gether with one iron-clad and four cruisers. One iron- 
clad and four cruisers had been sunk in the torpedo-boat 
attack. [53] 

§ 18. Before the beginning of the advance on Weihaiwei 
China launched another peace mission, to make good the 
failure of the Detring mission of inquiry and of the American 
intervention. An imperial edict of December 21st ap- 
pointed Chang Yin-hwan and Shao Yu-lien joint am- 
bassadors " to inquire what terms Japan will demand to 
bring the present war to an end." The former was at one 
time envoy to America, Spain and Peru, and was now 
senior vice-president of the Ministry of Revenue ; the 
latter had once been charge d'affaires at St. Petersburg, 
and on the outbreak of the war was governor of Formosa. 
In this capacity the latter was charged with the defence 
of the island, having under his command upwards of 
50,000 troops ; and, to incite his troops to action, he 
issued a proclamation offering a money reward for the 
destruction of enemy ships and for the heads of enemy 
officers and soldiers. [54] A gentleman and a learned 

[51] Cf. " Conflict," chap, x, § 36. 

[52] " The Chinese officials [at Shanghai] and others stoutly maintain 
their disbelief of the news of Admiral Ting's surrender to the Japanese, 
declaring that it is impossible that he would risk $ie lives of so many 
people belonging to his own family and the families of the officers under 
him, who would be surely put to death in that case . . . but even the 
Chinese government . . . would not dare to carry into effect the cruel 
law of the country."— North-China Herald, Feb. 15,th, 1895. 

[53] North-China Herald, Feb. 8th, 15th, 22nd, March 15th, 22nd, 1895. 

[54] Text of Proclamation in Mr. C. Denby, Jr., to Mr. Gresham. 
Sfept. 6th, 1894, U.S. For. Rel., 1894, App. i, p. 57. 


Admiral Ting Ju-chang. 


scholar, with a quiet and courteous manner, he but followed 
the immemorial custom of China in entering on a war [55] ; 
he could see nothing wrong in his action, but it was an 
anachronism, and it was condemned *by the entire Western 
world. To include him in the peace mission was a stupid 
blunder of the Chinese administration, and it was fully 
expected that Japan would refuse to receive it on that 
ground [56] ; but Japan was out for bigger game and did 
not stand oh a technicality. The Japanese desire Was 
that China should, before the whole world, own herself 
defeated, and should give her representative the fullest 
powers to sue for peace. 

§ 19. The two Chinese envoys were conscious that they 
had no genuine Chinese backing, and that their reception 
in Japan was likely to be cool. They loitered on their 
way, under various pretexts, and arrived at Kobe on 
January 30th, being inet there by Mr. J. W. Foster.[57] 
On the nomination of the mission he had been invited to 
join it, the invitation stating that " the emperor desires 
that you should meet the missipn in Japan and aid it by 
your wise counsel " [58] ; he acted as legal and diplomatic 
adviser to this mission and to that which succeeded it ; 
and his acting in that capacity was, &s was publicly stated 
by Count Mutsu, to the entire satisfaction of the Japanese 
ministers. [59] He was not hopeful of any success ; he 
wrpte — " The Japanese are greatly elated over their suc- 
cesses and feel very keenly the contemptuous treatment 
which China has extended to them in the past, and are 
inclined to humiliate her as much as possible." [60] He 
also informed the Chinese envoys that their credentials 
were not in the form usual among nations, and that, if 
they were disposed to be critical, the Japanese might deny 

[55] Cf. V Conflict," chap, x, § 7 ; chap, xvi, §§ 13, 18 ; " Submission/' 
chap, xvii, § 23. 

[56] North-China Herald, Jan. 11th, 18th ; Feb. 15th, 1895. 

[57] John Watson Foster, born 1836, rose to the rank of colonel 
in the American civil war; w&s, 1873-85, successively U.S. envoy to 
Mexico, Russia and Spain ; 1893, agent of the U.S. in Bering Sea arbitra- 
tion; 1898, member of U.S. -Anglo-Canadian commission ; 1903, agent of 
the U.S. in Alaskan Boundary tribunal ; in 1892-93 was Secretary of 
State in President Harrison's cabinet. 

[58] Col. Foster recei ^d this telegram in Washington on Dec. 23rd, 
1894. — J. W. Foster, " Diplomatic Memoirs," ii, p. 101 

[59] Ibid., p. 105. 

[60] To his wife, Jan. 22nd, 1895, ibid., p. 112. 


their full power to negotiate. [61] The credentials ostensibly- 
appointed the two to be " Our Plenipotentiaries to meet 
and negotiate with the Plenipotentiaries appointed by 
Japan " ; but with this was coupled an instruction that 
"You shall, however, telegraph to the Tsungli Yamen 
and obtain instructions by which you will abide." [62] 
The Japanese were very much disposed to be critical, and, 
at the meeting between the two parties on February 2nd, 
the Chinese envoys were informed that the insufficiency 
of their powers showed that " it may be taken for granted 
that the Chinese court is not yet sincere in its wish for 
peace " ; they were further informed that " if China wishes 
for peace in good faith and sincerity, and invests her envoys 
with genuine full powers, and sends one whose official 
rank and high esteem by the public is a sufficient guarantee 
for the enforcement of the treaty, Japan will not refuse to 
treat with him." [63] A proposal by the Chinese envoys, 
made the next day, to reopen negotiations was summarily 
rejected. [64] 

§ 20. The rejection of this plea for peace gave the 
Japanese time to consolidate their position in Manchuria, 
and to make further progress there. From their central 
post at Haicheng they seized Kaichow on January 10th. 
The Chinese under General Sung Wa-sui then advanced 
on Haicheng, but were repulsed on February 16th, and 
driven back on Yingkow, the port of Newchwang. On 
March 4th the Japanese occupied Liaoyang, the city of 
Newchwang on, the 5th, the port of Yingkow on the 6th, 
and Tienchwangtai oil the 9th ; the Chinese forces were 
driven back one after the other, and there was now noth- 
ing between the Japanese and Shanhaikwan. This pass 
between the mountains and the sea was the last barrier 
between Manchuria and Chihli, and, this stronghold once 
in Japanese hands, there was nothing to oppose their 
march on Tientsin and Peking. 

§ 21. On February 15th all the titles and honours 
of which he had been deprived were restored to Li Hung- 

T61] To his wife, Jan. 22rid, 1895, ibid., p. 114. 
[62] North-China Herald, Feb. 22nd, 1895. 

[63] Count Ito's address to Chinese envoys, ibid. ; Mr. Dun to Mr. 
Gresham, Feb. 15th, 1895, U.S. For. Rel., 1894, App. i, p. 99. 
[64] Foster, op. cit., ii, p. 116. 


chang, and he was appointed ambassador extraordinary 
to negotiate peace with Japan ; his vieeroyalty and his 
post of imperial High Commissioner of the Peiyang he 
handed over, on the 19th, to Wang Wen-shao.[65] Warned 
by the previous experience, the ambassador telegraphed 
the text of his credentials to Tokyo through the American 
legations, and, on March 4th, the Chinese government 
was notified .that their form was acceptable. [66] Japan 
was now satisfied. China sued for peace by the person 
of her greatest statesman, who had for many years con- 
trolled her foreign policy and negotiated her treaties, and 
who had sufficient backing at court and in the empire to 
carry into effect what he might undertake. He left Peking 
on March 5th and Taku on the 15th, [67] accompanied by 
Mr. Foster, Li Ching-fang (the viceroy's son, known in 
England as Lord Li, as being the son of an earl), Lo Feng- 
loh, Wu Ting-fang, and a suite of 135 persons ; of the three 
Chinese named the first was later appointed associate 
ambassador, and all three were in a few years to represent 
their country as envoys abroad. The mission arrived at 
Shimonoseki on March 19th. The plenipotentiaries for 
Japan were Count Ito Hirobumi, who had signed the 
convention of Tientsin in 1885. [68] now Minister President, 
and Count Mutsu Munemitsu, now Minister for Foreign 

§ 22. The first meeting was held on March 20th, when 
the credentials were exchanged and accepted on both 
sides ; the Chinese plenipotentiary then asked for a 
complete suspension of hostilities. At the meeting of 
March 21st the Japanese agreed to an armistice, on condi- 
tion that ShanhaikwanJ Taku and Tientsin were sur- 
rendered to them, together with the railway connecting 
the three. As this would place Peking at the mercy of + he 
Japanese forces, it was at once rejected. Count Ito then 
declared that, in that case, hostilities would be pushed 

[65] Tel. Peking, Feb. 15th, 18th, in North-China Herald, Feb. 22nd, 

[66] Ibid., March 8th, 1895. 

[67] " Our sailing day has been changed from the 15th to the 13th, as 
the astrologers tell the viceroy the 13th is a more auspicious day. So it 
has been determined to try to hoodwink the gods by making a pretence of 
beginning the journey on the 13th, though we shall probably not cross the 
bar till the 15th or 16th. — Foster, op. cit., ii, p. 127. 

[68] Cf. chap, i, § 16. 


and an armistice would not again be taken into considera- 
tion. The Chinese envoy then asked for an adjournment 
for three days to allow him to receive instructions from 
Peking. The third conference was held on March 24th, 
The Chinese envoy, under instructions, abandoned his 
proposal for an armistice and asked for a statement of the 
Conditions of peace ; these were promised for the next day. 
Count Ito incidentally mentioned that a Japanese expedi- 
tion was then on its way to attack Formosa. [69] 

§ 23. On the return of the Chinese ambassador from 
this conference he was fired on by a Japanese patriotic 
enthusiast, the bullet entering the cheek an inch below 
the left eye and remaining there inaccessible. Li himself 
was unmoved and walked quietly from his chair to his 
room ; but he was filled with rage and disposed to charge 
the Japanese government with responsibility for the act ; 
the staff of the mission was in great apprehension of further 
attacks ; and the Chinese people, with their memories of 
the Kowshing and the Port Arthur massacre, were worked 
into fury. Western nations joined in reprobating the 
crime, which " barely escaped being an international 
catastrophe."[70] Japan was dismayed. [71] The war 
party in Japan was strong, [72] reluctant to make peace 
except 4 with important cessions ; now, as the Minister of 
War declared, " the scoundrel has undone the great 
achievements of the nation." [73] The Japanese emperor 
sent an imperial rescript expressing his most profound 
grief and regret [74] ; the empress showered attentions 
on the ambassador ; and expressions of sympathy came 
from all classes of Japanese society. In fact this dastardly 
attempt benefited China more than a victory in the field. 

§ 24. The ambassador continued to conduct the nego- 
tiations from his sick-room, to which he was confined for 
seventeen days, Li Ching-fang being now included in the 

[69] Foster, op. cit., ii, p. 129. 

[70] Ibid., p. 131. 

[71] " Cet attentat etait un evenement extremement funeste. Le3 
regrets leS plus sympathiques que la nation entiero . . . temoignerent 
en cette occasion, furent une manifestation toute spontanee des sentimens 
innes des Japonais." — Nagao, op. cit., p. 247. 

[72] Tel. from Yokohama to .London, from London March 22nd, 
North-China Herald, March 29th, 1895. 

[73] Foster, op. cit., ii, p. 135. 

[74] Ibid., loc. cit. ; Nagao, op. cit., p. 248. 


commission. The first result of the assault was th< 
voluntary offer by Japan- of an unconditional armistice 
for Manchuria, Chihli and Shantung for twenty-one days ; 
a convention to this effect was signed on March 30th, 
and a renewal for twenty-one days on April 17th. [75] A 
second result was a considerable mitigation in the severity 
of the conditions imposed ; the area of the cession of 
territory in Manchuria was reduced, the indemnity was 
diminished by a third, claims for exceptional privileges in 
the interior of China were abandoned, and the Japanese 
waived 'their demand to occupy Mukden, the home of the 
dynasty, as a material guarantee. [76] After three weeks 
of negotiation by notes, the treaty of Shimonoseki [77] 
was signed, on April 17th, in Japanese, Chinese and 
English, embodying terms which, after all the mitigations, 
were sufficiently severe even for the helpless condition to 
which China was reduced. [78] 

§ 25. By the treaty China was required to " recognise 
definitely the full and complete independence and autonomy 
of Korea " [79] ; and to " cede to Japan in perpetuity and 
full sovereignty," (a) that part of Manchuria lying east of 
the river Liao (Liaotung) and south of a line from the 
junction of the rivers Anping and Yalu, by Fenghwang- 
heng and Haicheng, to Yingkow, (b) Formosa, and (c) 
the Pescadores group. [80] In addition China was to pay 
an indemnity of 200,000,000 tads [81] '; and the Japanese 
occupation of Weihaiwei was to continue until the indemnity 
was paid, and until a treaty of commerce was signed and 
ratified. [82] A satisfactory treaty of commerce was to 
be negotiated forthwith, and meantime four cities were to 
be added to the list of treaty ports — Shasi and Chungking 
on the Yangtze, and Soochow and Hangchow on the Grand 
Canal — and the direct waterways leading to them were to 
be open to traffic. [83] The subsidiary treaty of com- 
merce [84] was signed at Peking on July 21st, 1896 ; it 

[75] Treaties, ii, pp. 1327, 1330. 
[76] Foster, op. cit., ii, p. 138. 
[77] Treaties, ii, p. 1318. 

[78] Foster, op. cit., ii, pp. 129 seq. ; North-China Herald, May 31st, 
June 14th, 21st, 28th, July 5th, 12th, 1895. 
[79] Art. i. 

[80] Art. ii. [81] Art. iv. 

[82] Art. viii. [83] Art. vi. 

[84] Treaties, ii, p. 1332. 


embodied all that bad been granted to any of the Western 
powers, including extraterritorial jurisdiction over Japanese 
subjects in China and the most-favoured nation clause. 
On one point it was in advance of other treaties, in con- 
ceding [85*] specifically the right 4 to carry on trade, 
industries and manufactures " at any of the treaty ports, a 
right previously rejected by the Chinese. [86] This treaty 
also was signed in Chinese, Japanese and English; and 
it was provided [87] that, " in case .of any divergence in 
the interpretation between the Chinese and Japanese text 
of the treaty, the difference shall be settled by reference 
to the English text."[88] 

§ 26. In point of time the first provision of the treaty 
of Shimonoseki to be carried out was the recognition of 
the 'independence of Korea. The American representative 
at Seoul, in his correspondence with the Japanese authori- 
ties, " refused to recognise that Korean independence dated 
from June 6th, 1895." His attitude was approved — " The 
position assumed by this government toward Korea 
since contracting a treaty with it in 1882 has in no wise 
been affected by recent events ; Korea's treaty independ- 
ence since then has been for us an established and accepted 
fact." [89] This philosophical attitude was corrected by 
a" later decision, more in accord with stern fact. In 
October a revolt upset the government of Korea, with the 
usual accompaniment of many murders, including that of 
the queen, and the murderers assumed the administration, 
with Japanese approval and support ; and the British, 
Russian, French, German and American representatives 
took steps to intervene. [90] The American government 
promptly informed its representative that ' intervention 
in political concerns of Korea is not among your functions," 

[85] Art. iv. 

[86] Cf. " Submission," chap, xv, § 9. 

[87] Art. xxviii. 

[88] Col. J. W. Foster remained with the Chinese until after the formal 
transfer of Formosa under the treaty. He was offered great inducements 
to remain at Peking as official adviser to the government, but declined 
them • and left Shanghai finally on June 8th to return to America. — 
Foster, op. cit., ii, pp. 155 seq. 

[89] Mr Sill to Mr. Olney, June 7th ; Mr. Adee to Mr. Sill, July 9th, 
1895 ; U.S.For Rel., 1895, ii, p. 971. Cf. antea, chap, i, §§ 12, 23. 

[90] North-China Herald, Oct.-Dec, 1895, passim; telegrams, Seoul 
legation to State dept., Oct. and Nov., U.S. For. Rel., 1895, ii,p. 972. ; 


and he received a severe rebuke for having " completely 
ignored the Japanese minister." [91] 

§ 27. T^e treaty gave Liaotung to Japan ; but as 
early as April 10th Russia and France had begun to concert 
measures ; and, before the ratifications were exchanged 
(at Chefoo, on May 8th), the Japanese government received 
from Russia, France and Germany a joint note, "recom- 
mending " that the territory be restored to China. Mr. 
Foster declares that he first heard of the demand during 
his stay in Peking, April 24th to May 2nd, and that " Li 
Hung-chang waited anxiously for some indication from 
Russia, but none was received by him till we reached 
Tientsin on our return." [92] This disposes of the possi- 
bility of any direct assurance having been given ; but, 
none the less, the viceroy must have had a reasonable 
expectation that the action would be taken. It was 
thought worthy of record that, before leaving Peking, 
Li Hung-chang had made a special visit to the Russian 
and French legations [93] ; the Russian Mediterranean 
squadron was ordered to the Pacific in March [94]-; in the 
conferences at Shimonoseki the Chinese ambassador 
argued against the cession of Formosa, but did not consider 
it urgent that he should refer to Liaotung [95] ; on the 
exchange of ratifications at Chefoo on May 8th, there were 
present ships-of-war of many nations, including a Russian 
fleet of seventeen war-ships and several torpedo-boats. [96] 
The demand for retrocession was no surprise to the Japanese. 
Annexation at that time of Chinese territory on the main- 
land was contrary to the better judgment of both Count 
Ito and Count Mutsu, but they were forced to demand it 
by the attitude of the military. [97] It was impossible to 
resist the recommendation of the three powers and Japan 
yielded, signing an agreement at Peking on November 8th 
by which she received in exchange an increase in the in- 
demnity to 230,000,000 taels.[98] 

[91] Mr. Olney to Mr. Sill, Nov. 11th, 20th, 21st, 1895, Jan. 10th, 1896, 
ibid., p. 973. 

[92] J. W. Foster, " Diplomatic Memoirs," ii, pp. 150, 153. 

[93] North-China Herald, March 22nd, 1895. 

[94] Tel. London, March 19th, ibid. 

[95] Foster, op. cit., ii, pp. 130, 141. 

[96] Ibid., p. 151. 

[97] Ibid., p. 153. 

[98] Text in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc., 1894-1904," p. 26. 


§ 28. For Formosa the treaty was the beginning of 
events, and not the end. The expedition, of which Count 
Ito informed Li Hung-chang, arrived off the Pescadores on 
March 20th ; on the 23rd the fleet silenced the principal 
forts ; and within the next three days the troops overcame 
such opposition as was ohered, and obtained entire posses- 
sion of the islands and of the port of Makung, constituting 
the keys of Formosa. In Formosa there was much alarm, 
intensified by the news that southern waters were not 
included in the armistice of March 30th ; and the alarm 
was increased when, on April 20th, it became known that 
the cession of Formosa was one of the conditions of peace. 
On April 22nd the excitement culminated in an attack 
on the governor, Tang Ching-sung, in his own yamen at 
Taipehfu. The disorder continued and anarchy was im- 
minent, and, to protect foreign lives and interests, guards 
were sent to Twatutia [99] — twenty-five German sailors 
and thirty British marines — and a British and a German 
gunboat at Tamsui, and a British gunboat at Takow in 
south Formosa. Covered by this small force, confidence 
was temporarily restored and trade was carried on in such 
security that, up to June 8th, from Tamsui the shipments 
of tea amounted to 51,800 piculs, and of camphor to 
10,000 piculs, while from south Formosa 630,000 piculs of 
sugar were exported, with commotion and disturbance 
seething all around at both ends of the island. [100] 

§ 29. As soon as the terms of the treaty were known, 
the governor and a " deputation of the gentry of Formosa " 
offered, on April 20th, a protectorate of the island to 
England, the basis of the offer being that China should 
retain the sovereignty and the land-tax, while England 
should have sole control over the administration, the cost 
of which should be borne by dues and duties. [101] This 
having been rejected, the same offer was, on May 20th, 
made to France, and rejected by her. [102] During this 
time the dissatisfaction in Formosa continued ; and, 

[99] Cf. " Submission," chap, xi, § 14. 

[100] The statements regarding what went on in Formosa are based On 
the author's own recollection, as he was in close touch with the governor ;" 
but supported in all cases by reference to J. W. Davidson, " The Island 
of Formosa" ; H. B. Morse, " Report on the Trade of Tamsui, 1895 " ; 
W. F. Spinnev, " Report on the Trade of Tainan, 1895." 

[101] H. B. Morse to Sir R. Hart, Tamsui, April 23rd, 1895. 

[102] Same to same, May 10th, 24th, 1895. 


under the direct inspiration of the war party in China, on 
May 24th the independence o: the republic of Formosa 
was declared. [103] The Chinese functionaries of the 
official hierarchy at once left, being replaced by others, 
more devoted patriots — all except the governor, Tang 
Ching-sung, who was informed that neither he, nor any 
munitions of war, nor any treasure, would be allowed to 
leave ; and " so pressing were the solicitations of the 
people,' 3 as he declared, that he accepted the office of 
president of the new republic. At the same time a parlia- 
ment was summoned, the members having been already 
elected by the gentry, and receiving an honorarium of 
50 cents (one shilling) a day. 

§ 30. The inspiration leading to this step was not in 
the island itself. The people disliked their cession to Japan 
and resented their abandonment by China ; but their 
discontent, while it might easily be manifested by riots, 
would never take the form of organised rebellion. Of 
troops garrisoning Formosa there were at least 50,000, and 
the number was put by some as high as 80,000. Of these 
about three-fifths were in north-Formosa under the direct 
command of the governor, and two-fifths in south-Formosa 
under the " Black Flag " leader, Liu Yung-fu,[104] who 
had brought his division to the island early in the war. 
These troops were all of the coolie-army type, good material, 
as had been shown by Ward and Gordon ; but they were 
untrained and undisciplined, they had no officers capable 
of leadership, and they were armed with a miscellaneous 
lot of second-hand Mausers, Winchesters and Lee-Metford 
rifles, *450's firing black powder, while the Japanese had 
their improved Murata *315 rifle with smokeless powder. 
The Chinese troops were not conscious of their own defi- 
ciencies, but the heart of the movement was not in them 
either. [105] The new departure was engineered from 

[103] The author has in his possession the only surviving authentic 
flag of the republic — azure, a tiger or regardant, waving a long and very 
aggressive tail. This flag, of blue silk, about eight by ten feet, was sent 
by the president with instructions that it was to be raised over the custom 
house at Tamsui. The Chinese flag continued, however, to be flown 
there until it was displaced by the Japanese on June 9th. 

[104] Cf. " Submission," chap, xvii, § 10. 

[105] In several units infantrymen and artillerymen declared in much 
the same terms to the author—" We don't want to fight for this blessed 
republic ; it's these civilian fellows (che-ko lao po-hsing)." 

Ill— 4 


China, and was the last despairing effort of the war party 
to defeat the steps taken to secure peace. This was the 
course which had been regularly adopted at the end of 
every unsuccessful war [106] ; and for a month, from 
April 20th to May 24th, the wires burned with telegrams 
on the subject exchanged N between Formosa and the 
mainland, among the senders being such prominent leaders 
of the Chinese state as Chang Chih-tung [107] and others 
of his party.[108] 

§ 31. Li Hung-chang Was held responsible for the 

[106] Cf. " Conflict," chap, x, §§ 13, 19, 21 ; chap, xii, § 14 ; chap, xvi, 
§ 24 ; chap, xxv, § 12 ; chap, xxvi, § 14. 

" In fact yesterday was just as serious as serious could be : for I 
had had a Yamen sitting over, Japan's offer of peace — a long one — the 
night before and I was waiting for my cart to take me back to another 
equally dismal festival while I wrote. The armistice — good for the north 
but not for the south — will expire this day fortnight and if we have not 
swallowed the Japanese bolus by that time military operations will re-begin 
the next day and that will mean the Japanese here and the Emperor — and 
perhaps dynasty — God knows where by the end of May. Meantime I 
expect- this week will find Morse and Spinney in extremis, for the \Taps took 
the Pescadores a fortnight ago, and ought now to have their preparations 
matured and be ready for an advance. China's collapse has been terrible, 
and the comical and tragical have dovetailed all along the frontier of 
incident in the most heartbreaking, side-bursting fashion. Even to-day 
those who can, try to make their own game out of any sycee issued for 
expenditure and the heart of the country knows nothing of the war, and 
will not make allowances for defeat : thus the government will have its 
own difficulties in getting the people at large to believe in sacrifices made 
for peace, and internal trouble may appear just as the external war ends. 
But in fact, although it is only at a minute spot along the fringe of this 
big empire that the Chinese haye received thrashing after thrashing, it is 
the shell of the egg that is cracked, and — it seems to me a bad case of 
Humpty Dumpty. The conditions were terrible, and those wily Japanese 
have played their cards — even in framing conditions — with such a mixture 
of civilized grace and Asiatic slyness that all the world will be on their side 
and applaud, and all China will wince from north to south and for a whole 
cycle ! I am trying to get rid of an innocent impossibility which might any 
c".ay become a breach of treaty and a new casus belli, and also of a pound of 
flesh plus blood stipulation which would be hard to stagger under, as well 
as to round off a few corners to a shape that will be easier : but I find the 
other party is too clever and knows both what it wants, and how to get it, 
too we f t, bo allow me to hope for success. Japan wants to lead the East 
in war, in commerce, and in manufactures, and next century will be a hard 
one for the West ! Everything that China should have yielded gracefully 
t > others when asked for will now have to be yielded to Japan's hectoring : 
Japan will then pose and say to all creation — ' That's the way to do it, you 
see, and it's I that did it ! ' "— R. Hart to E. B. Drew, April 7th, 1895. 

[107] Cf. " Submission," chap, xviii, § 8. 

[108] During the period spent in China by the author, 1874-1907, 
government offices, and especially telegraph offices, were notoriously leaky. 
Without taking iny special steps it was easy to be kept informed of what 
was going on. 


disastrous war ; he was directly responsible for the forma- 
tion of China's only " trained " force, the army of the 
Peiyang, and his supporters filled the posts of command 
in that army and in the supply departments. When other 
diplomatic measures failed, he was the ambassador who 
signed the distasteful treaty, accepting the terms imposed 
by the victors ; and to him it fell [109] to bring the court 
and administration to consent to ratification, which was 
opposed by the Chinese war party and by the envoys of 
Russia, France and Germany.[110] The war party now 
scored a point in securing the appointment of the viceroy's 
son and associate in the embassy, Li Ching-fang, as com- 
missioner to carry out the cession of Formosa. All 
attempts by both to evade the dangerous honour were 
unavailing [111] ; and the commissioner proceeded to 
Formosa,' accompanied by Mr. Foster. Outside the port 
of Tamsui his steamer was boarded by a messenger,[112] 
who explained the situation in the island, and, on behalf of 
the "president," gave warning that Formosa held the two 
Lis primarily responsible for the cession. The commis- 
sioner then proceeded to Kelung, and there, on June 2nd, 
on board the Japanese flagship, formally transferred the 
island to the Japanese authorities. 

§ 32. The republic was proclaimed on May 24th, but 
within the week its death knell was struck. On May 29th 
a Japanese force was landed twenty miles south-east of 
Kelung ; for a few days their progress was resisted, but on 
June 3rd they took possession of Kelung and, its forts, 
which they found quite uninjured and abandoned without 
a shot by the garrison holding them under the Tiger flag. 
The Chinese troops in north Formosa ceased from that 
time to be an organised force ; deserted by their officers, 
they spread over the country plundering for their sub- 
sistence ; and in a few days many thousands of th^m 
followed the common practice of abandoning arms and 

[109] J. W. Foster, " Diplomatic Memoirs," ii, p. 149. 

[110] Ibid., p. 148. 

[Ill] "I asked ... if there was no way for a public official to decline 
an unwelcome appointment. • ' Yes, there are three ways ; the first is to 
allege illness, but that is so common it is usually ineffective ; the second 
is to flee the country, but the delinquent can never return ; the third is 
suicide, which is not an unusual result.' " — Ibid., p. 155. 

[112] The author, then commissioner of customs at Tamsui. Cf. 
ibid., p. 159.; 


uniforms, and posing as inoffensive peasantry, being then 
plundered in their turn by the people of the country-side: 
The fabric of government dissolved, and, by noon of 
June 4th, not one of the new functionaries of the new 
republic was to be found at his post ; and anarchy reigned 
supreme. The capital, Taipehfu, was given up to arson 
and plunder, and the arsenal and all government establish- 
ments were thoroughly looted ; and this safety-valve did 
much to save Twatutia, Which, with its score of foreign 
merchants and its thirty thousand Chinese inhabitants, 
was moreover protected by the half-hundred British and 
German marines landed for that purpose. The port oi 
Tamsui was meantime protected by one British and one 
German gunboat ; around it for two or three days swarmed 
ten thousand or more disorganised soldiery, constantly 
firing promiscuous rifle shots, but animated by no special 
evil intent, and only bent on getting away. 

N § 33. The Japanese forces entered Taipeh on June 7th, 
welcomed by the people as deliverers ; and they took 
possession of Tamsui and its forts on June 9th. Within 
the next three weeks the fragments of the Chinese army 
of north Formosa were either rounded up and contemptu- 
ously shipped off to the mainland, or were herded towards 
mid Formosa, to be dealt with at leisure. South Formosa 
was still held by Liu Yung-fu and the troops under his 
command. The heavy surf raised there by the prevail- 
ing south-west monsoon delayed operations ; but on 
October 12th the Japanese fleet appeared off Anping. 
After some attempted negotiations Liu Yung-fu abandoned 
his troops and fled ; neither before nor after his flight was 
there any resistance, and Tainahfu was occupied by the 
Japanese forces on October 21st. During this discredit- 
able attempt to upset the treaty of Shimonoseki the 
Chinese losses are unknown ; the Japanese lost 164 killed 
and 515 wounded in battle, and 4642 died and 26,994 
incapacitated from disease, chiefly malarial fever [113] ; 
but Japan was satisfied, having now possession of Formosa. 
§ 34. In June 1895 all national foreign loans contracted 
previously to the outbreak of the war had been paid off, 
except a small remnant of about £300,000 ; and for the 
purposes of this war, China had borrowed £6,750,000 

[113] Davidson, " The Island of Formosa," p. 364. 


through foreign banks [114] ; the sole restraint on the 
borrowing power of the empire was therefore an indebted- 
ness of £7,000,000 secured on the customs, with an interest 
charge of £420,000 a year. The customs revenue for 1894 
was Tls. 22,523,605, equivalent at the average exchange 
for that year to £.3,601,431. When it, became necessary 
to provide for the indemnity payable to Japan, about 
£40,000,000, the Chinese administration turned by a 
natural instinct to their trusted adviser, Sir R. Hart. [11 5] 
But the other Western powers feared that borrowing in the 
open money market would result v in England's " getting 
a dangerous hold on China's finances " [116] ; and, of the 
intervening powers, the two which had taken the initiative, 
Russia and France, saw no reason why they should lose 
any part of the diplomatic influence which that interven- 
tion had given them. [11 7] It was at first proposed that 
Russia should lend to China one hundred million taels 
(£16,500,000) at 5 per cent., to be followed by a similar 
loan a year later. [118] The financial magnates in Paris 
objected to a loan made solely by Russia, which would 
provoke the opposition of other financial centres [119] ; 
and, after negotiations through the Chinese legation at 
Paris, an agreement was signed on June 24th (July 6th, 
N.S.) between the Russian Ministry of Finances and a group 
of six French and four Russian banks, by which a thirty- 
six year loan of 400,000,000 francs (£15,820,000) at 4 per 
cent, should be made to China, under the guarantee of the 
Russian government. [120] 

§ 35. The British envoy at Peking protested angrily 
against this loan. [121] Germany, thrown over by her 
colleagues in the intervention, was driven to join hands 
with England ; and later loans to provide for the indemni- 

[114] Cf. Appendix A. 

[115] Tel. Peking, May 7th, North-China Herald, May 10th ; editorial, 
ibid., May 17th, 1895. 

[116] Ibid., May 31st, 1895. 

[117] Cordier, " Relations," iii, p. 305. 

[118] North-China Herald, June 7th, 1895. 

[119] Cordier, loc. cit. 

[120] Ibid. The loan was issued to the public at 98'80 to 99*20 per 
cent. ; China received 94" 125 per cent. Application was made by the 
public for 5,968 million francs, nearly fifteen times the amount of the loan. 

[121] Ibid., p. 309. China demanded the recall of Sir N. R. O'Conor, 


ties and to repair the waste of war were made jointly by 
the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and the 
Deutsch-Asiatische Bank. The first in 1896 was a thirty- 
six-year loan of £16,000,000 at 5 per cent., the second in 
1898 a forty-five year loan of £16,000,000 at 4j per cent., 
and neither was guaranteed by the governments of the 
Western countries concerned. All three loans were 
secured by the customs revenue, the annual charge for 
interest and amortisation being £2,626,195 ; and, to pro- 
vide sufficient cover for the third loan, China was obliged 
to pledge revenues from salt and likin in six collectorates in 
the Yangtze basin. These collectorates were to provide 
a sum of Tls. 5,000,000 (£833,333) annually, and were 
placed under the supervision of the Inspectorate of 
customs ; in case of default the Inspectorate was to under- 
take their administration. 

§ 36. The Chinese are bad losers ; and, being unable to 
make headway against the Japanese, they hit hard at the 
missionary. In every month of 1895 the American legation 
at Peking had occasion to report on the dangerous position 
in which American missionaries were placed [122] ; but it 
was more especially the exasperation experienced after the 
conclusion of peace that made itself felt, continuing even 
in 1896. The worst riots were one at Chengtu in Szechwan 
in May, 1895, and one at Kucheng (locally Kutien) in 
Fukien on August 1st ; the former was directed against 
French, English and American, the latter against English 
and American missionaries. Official laxity, if not conniv- 
ance, was charged against the Szechwan officials ; while the 
Fukien officials were charged not only with connivance, 
but also with attempting to burke v the subsequent 
inquiry.[123] This attitude was quite in accord with the 
feelings of the people. In Hunan one of the gentry Chow 
Han, to whom had been attributed violent anti-missionary 
placards issued in 1869 and 1870, [124] again emerged into 
prominence with a series of diatribes against foreigners in 
general and missionaries in particular. [125] 'The Peking 
government tried hard to shield the provincial authorities, 

[122] U.S. For. Rel., 1895, i, pp. 87-198. 

[123] Ibid., passim; North-China- Herald, July-Nov., 1895, passim. 

[124] Of. " Submission," chap, xi, § 19 and n. 57. 

£125] North-China Herald, Oct. 11th, Nov. 8th, Dec. 6th, 1895. 


but the three governments concerned were firm ; for the 
Chengtu riot the Szechwan viceroy was degraded,[126] 
some other officials were cashiered, six rioters were be- 
headed and seventeen otherwise punished [127] ; for the 
Kucheng massacre twenty-six rioters were beheaded,[128] 
but no official was punished. [129] The latter settlement 
was based on a note " requesting the issuance of 
peremptory instructions for the summary punishment of 
all persons implicated in the Kucheng massacre whose 
guilt is proven, and stating that executions will not be 
taken as conclusive and final satisfaction" [130] ; and at 
the trial " the participants in the massacre were tried, 
convicted and sentenced in accordance with the 
criminal code of China. "[131] The American govern- 
ment informed China that it was " seriously considering 
the question of devising means for the further and more 
perfect prevention of these lamentable outrages." [132] 
No further action was, however, taken, and it is difficult 
to see what preventive measures could have been adopted. 
§ 37. In 1842 China was defeated and compelled to 
sign a treaty, moderate in its terms, but imposed by the 
victors ; but she was not humiliated. In 1858 and in 1860 
she again suffered defeat, and again she had to submit to 
terms imposed by the victors ; but her ministers might 
console themselves with the reflection that her situation 
was due to the Taiping ulcer eating at her bowels, and not 
to the external wound inflicted by foreign arms. In 1885 
she brought a year of hostilities to a stalemate. But now, 
in 1895, she was not merely defeated; she had been 
humbled. Her armies had never once scored a victory, 
but had fled from every field of battle, and had surren- 
dered one strong position after another ; her fleet, on 
which many hopes were based, was driven ignominiously 

[1261 Imp'l decree in Mr. Denby to Mr. Olney, Oct. 7th, 1895, U.S. 
For. Rel., 1895, i, p. 157. 

[127] Imp'l decree in same to same. Oct. 16th, 1895, ibid., p. 162. 

[128] Same to same, Dec. 8th, 1895, ibid., p. 173. 

[129] Ibid., Nov. 30th, 1896, U.S. For. Rel., 1896, p. 68. 

[130] Mr. Olney to Mr. Denby, Nov. 12th, 1895, U.S. For. Rel., 1895, 
i, p. 171. 

[131] Report by Hpmraander J. S. Newell, member of committee of 
investigation on the part of the United States, ibid., p. 174. 

[132] Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Denby, July 28th, 1896, U.S. For. Rel., 
1896, p. 57. 

56 ^he War with japan ch. u 

to the shelter of fortified ports ; her commanders showed 
themselves all incompetent, and many cowards ; he: 
administration was as inefficient and as corrupt [133] in 
the hour of the nation's peril as it notoriously was in time 
of peace ; and her people, while they had acquired some 
sense of nationality, were still an inchoate mass, in which 
self-interest was the only motive power and blind fury 
replaced patriotic endeavour. The empire now lost 
Formosa, and Liaotung had been saved only by the 
interested intervention of the three Western powers ; a 
war indemnity had imposed on it a national debt, from 
which it had hitherto been free ; except for Mongolia and 
Tibet it had lost the last of its buffer guards ; and these 
results had been accomplished by a despised Asiatic power, 
which had now demonstrated its superiority over China 
and its equality with the privileged Western powers. 
The conclusion of peace was followed by a general dis- 
crediting of her ministers, including her one statesman, 
Li Hung-chang, who, for a time, was relegated to a position 
of obscurity [134] ; and China's humiliation was complete. 

[133] " Even those to-day who can, try to make their own game out of 
any sycee [money] issued :>r expenditure." — R. Hart to E. B. Drew, 
April 7th, 1895. 

" Poor China has been knocked into a cocked hat ; the outlook is 
threatening ; their officials will not reform. . . . The situation is heart- 
breaking, and has caused me immense worry, sorrow, and anxiety." — Same 
to C. Hannen, Jan. 6th, 1897. 

[134] " Li [Hung-chang] is only a member of the [Tsungli] Yamen, but 
while the empress dowager lives Li may still get into power again — he's 
nobody now. At the Yamen, and in presence of his colleagues, he has to 
' play to the gallery ' and is very obstinate — an attitude which astonishes 
the legations after the way all Europe treated the old traveller." — Ibid. 



1. Dismemberment of China apparently inevitable 

2. China's Post : the Ichan, government couriers 

3. The Wenpao Chii, or Despatch Office . 

4. The Formosa postal experiment . 

5. Letter hongs for Chinese correspondence 

6. Foreign post-offices for foreign correspondence 

7. Three elements opposing a Chinese Post . 

8. Legation mails carried by China in winter 
9 Beginnings of a customs postal service ^ 

10. Issues of Chinese postage stamps . 

11. Reluctance to assume the work of foreign post-offices 

12. Post established by imperial decree, March 20, 1890 

13. Difficulties encountered in organising Post 

14. Post built up on foundation of customs establishment 

15. A Chinese service thus built up 

16. Union practice and rules observed . 

17. Arrangement made with foreign steamers 

18. Adhesion to Postal Union deferred until 1914 . 

19. Letter hongs fought, but not coerced 

20. Post severed from Customs, 1911 ; its progress 




§ 1. The war with Japan and its disastrous ending left 
China in a state of utter helplessness. During the war 
her most energetic efforts were directed, not to defeating 
the enemy, but to invoking the intervention of foreign 
powers, which, her rulers hoped, might save her from the 
results of her own weakness, without the necessity of 

I making any serious effort to 'remedy the causes of that 
weakness. It was the duty of foreign powers, and not 
any part of the duty of China, to save China from aggres- 
sion and dismemberment ; and to all experienced ob- 
servers, experienced in the ways of the West but not in 
those of the East, it was obvious that dismemberment 


vas impending and was] But, before con- 

idering the effect of the war on the politics and adminis- 

ration of the empire and on the question of its partition, 

certain minor matters must be- dealt with, notably the 

development of the postal service and the introduction 

of railways. 

§ 2. The Ichan,[2] or government service of couriers, 
was mentioned in the records of the Chow dynasty, the 
beginnings of which date back 3,000 years ; and during 
the succeeding centuries this channel for maintaining 
communication between the emperor and his government 
at the capital, and his governors and garrisons in the 
provinces, has always been kept in working order. In 
1902 the cost of its maintenance was declared by Chinese 
officials to be Tls. 3,000,000 a year. The service was 
under the direct control of the ministry of War at Peking ; 
at each provincial capital an army officer acted as director 
of Posts, under the provincial Judge ; and the actual 
transmission was effected by each district magistrate 
(Hien) from border to border of his district, the cost being 
a charge On his budget. The work of the Ichan was 
handed over to the Post-office in July 1912. 

§ 3. The Wenpao Chu, or Despatch Office, was an off- 
shoot of the Ichan. It was instituted in 1876 to provide 
for the transmission, as far as Shanghai, of despatches, 

[1] " China must be divided. If she cannot govern herself, why, there 
are those who can, and who will." But the article, written by one who 
knew China (Mr. Robert W. Little), goes on to point out that " such a 
partition of the Chinese empire -would introduce into the eastern end of 
the Asiatic continent the same elements of discord, suspicion and armed 
preparation ' which now crush the life out of Europe." — North-China 
Herald, Sept. 13th, 1895. 

" The Manchus cannot keep the Chinese in order ; the Japanese are 
not allowed to do so ; who will take the job ? " — New York exchanges 
cited in ibid., Sept. 27th, 1895. 

" The situation is heartbreaking, and has caused me immense worry, 
sorrow, and anxiety. . . . This place is [illegible] as Constantinople — the 
vultures are in the air, and the man in possession is known to be very 
sick." — R. Hart to C. Hannen, Jan. 6th, 1897. 

This was the period in which were issued such books as George Curzon 
[Lord Curzon of Kedleston], " Problems of the Far East " ; Lord Charles 
Beresford, " The Break-up of China " ; Alexis Krausse, " China in Decay " ; 
Archibald R. Colquhoun, " China in Transformation." 

[2] The early history of the Chinese Post is summarised from the 
author's " Trade and Administration of China," chap, xiii, " The Post- 
office " ; and this, in turn, was mainly summarised from Mr. T. Piry's 
admirable "Report on the Working of the Post-office, 1904." 


to the Chinese envoys sent to foreign countries, and the 
transmission from Shanghai of despatches from them ; 
Shanghai being the terminus of the foreign mail-steamer 
lines. In recent years the. sole function of the office has 
been to affix postage stamps to official covers for the lega- 
tions abroad, and to deposit the covers in the post-office. 
§ 4. A government post-office open to the public was 
established in Formosa in 1885 by the first governor [3] 
of the new province, Liu Ming-chuan, who as Imperial 
High Commissioner had defended the island through the 
war with France. He adopted adhesive prepayment 
stamps for the service, which was purely local ; and he 
obtained from England finely engraved stamps in two 
denominations, for shorter and longer distances — red 
3 cent and green I* cent. The simplicity of an almos 4 
uniform system worked against its adoption, and the^ 
stamps had a history unique in philately ; duly su) ■ 
charged to that effect, they were used for railway 
tickets on the Formosa line. By the system ulti- 
mately adopted the rate charged was 20-cash (2 cents) 
for each stage, about twenty-five miles, of the distance 
covered by the couriers. This service came to an end 
in 1895. 

§ 5. The people of China are essentially a literary 
and commercial people, and are therefore a letter-writing 
people ; and for centuries past, they have provided for the 
transmission of their business and family correspondence 
with no more support or interference from the government 
than is given to any other commercial undertaking. 
This they did by V Letter Hongs, "[4] usually established 
by a remittance Lank or a merchant's firm having its 
own business connexions with certain other places, and 
having its own correspondence to forward ; these under- 
took for a consideration to forward the letters of other 
people, and gradually extended their postal operations 
to other places in the same direction to which their ordinary 
business did not reach. Under this system very strong 
letter hongs were developed, utilising every means of 

[3] Actually governor of Fukien and Taiwan (Formosa), directly 
administering the affairs of Formosa ; Fukien affairs were in the handa 
of the viceroy at Foochow. 

[4] Hong indicates a business firm of any kind ; " corporation " is too 
large a term, " shop " too small, to render it. 


conveyance, and meeting in every way the convenience 
of the public : maintaining fast special services where 
they were wanted, and content with slow conveyances 
where economy was the first object ; keeping open until 
after midnight wherever it was demanded by business 
interests ; and, most attractive in China, making the 
addressee pay a portion of the postage, usually half. The 
rates were moderate, ranging from 20-cash to 200-cash 
(2 to 20 Cents), according to the distance, but the offices 
were not particular to an ounce or two in the weight ; 
and commutation for an annual payment was common. 
The system served the people admirably ; but, from the 
national point of view, it had the fatal defect that it 
developed the profitable routes only, and neglected those 
which could not give a margin over expenses. 

§. 6. The foreign communities were served by foreign 
post-offices, the opening of which was necessitated by 
the need for transmitting the mails between China and 
the countries of the West. The first so opened was the 
British [5] in 1834 ; and the Hongkong Post-office sub- 
sequently opened branches at the principal ports, such 
as Canton, Foochow, Shanghai, Hankow and Tientsin, 
rendering to the foreign residents a service which they 
had no other means of obtaining. As other nations in 
turn instituted mail- steamer communication with China, 
they too opened post-offices at Shanghai — American, 
French, Japanese, German; and a Russian office was 
opened in connexion with mails via Kiakhta. After 
1900 these offices, too, generallv opened branches in 
Chinese cities ; and, in 1906, the following alien post- 
offices were working on Chinese soil, not including Man- 
churia — British, ten , French, thirteen ; German, four- 
teen ; Japanese, sixteen ; Russian, five ; American, one 
(at Shanghai). [6] Distribution along the coast was 
granted free of cost by the steamers, and senders of letters, 
literally, " dumped " them on board each departing boat ; 
on arrival those who expected letters sent for them to the 
steamer agencies. At Shanghai a local post-office was 
opened ; it enjoyed, with the community in general, free 
transport for its mails ; but it performed a useful service 

[5] Cf. " Conflict," chap, xiii, § 3 ; xxiii, § 4. 
[6] Report on Post-office, 1906. 


in collecting and distributing in Shanghai itself. In later 
years other ports followed this example, but their prin- 
cipal function was to tax non-resident philatelists for the 
maintenance of local roads. The Shanghai local Post 
was absorbed by the Chinese Imperial Post in 1898 ; those 
at the other ports fell on the institution of a national 

§ 7. Any proposal for the creation of a national post 
had, thus, three elements in opposition to it. Officialdom 
would oppose the suppression of the Ichan, and the transfer 
from Chinese to foreign hands of the political and financial 
patronage connected with an annual budget of three 
million taels. The strong commercial interest vested in 
the letter hongs would resist the compulsory closing of 
the postal agencies, which operated on the routes which 
were immediately profitable, but neglected those which 
could not show a profit on their own working. The foreign 
post-offices had a legitimate interest in providing for the 
ocean transport of over-seas mails, for which they paid 
the cost ; they demanded ample guarantees for the security 
of the local distribution before they would hand over their 
mail-matter to a Chinese, and, prima facie, untrustworthy 
administration ; and m later years, after 1900, the foreign 
nations concerned declined to surrender their political 
interest in their alien and extraterritorialised post-offices. 
To meet the objections of the first two elements it was im- 
perative that a postal administration should be developed 
on Chinese lines, and should work by Chinese methods ; 
to conciliate the foreign, objection it was needful to intro- 
duce an " element of probity and vigilance " [7] ; and 
this double obligation forced the Chinese government to 
adopt for the postal service a system analogous to that 
adopted for the customs. 

§ 8. To the British envoy, and therefore, by " most- 
favoured nation " clauses, to the envoys of all other 
powers, was secured [8] " full liberty to send and receive 
his correspondence to and from any point on the sea-coast 
that he may select . . . he may employ for their trans- 
mission special couriers who shall meet with the same 
protection and facilities for travelling as the persons 

[7] Cf. V Submission," i, § 22. 
[8] Br. tr. Tientsin, 1858, art. iv 


employed in carrying despatches for the imperial govern^ 
ment." During nine months of the year the carriage of 
the legation mails involved the use of couriers only be- 
tween Tientsin and Peking ; but from early in December 
to the end of February Tientsin is closed by ice, a situa- 
tion aggravated in the early years by the absence of 
telegraphic facilities. During the winter then the Peking 
mails must go from Chinkiang, a mounted-courier dis- 
tance of twelve days (625 miles) through a country in- 
fested in the early sixties by the Taiping forces, and 
afterwards by the Nienfei banditti. To meet its responsi- 
bility for protection the Tsungli Yamen undertook to 
convey the mails ; and, when the Inspector General of 
customs established his office at Peking, transferred the 
task of collecting and distributing, and ultimately of con- 
veyance, to his broad shoulders. 

§ 9. To provide for this work postal departments were 
opened at the customs offices at Peking, Chinkiang, and 
Shanghai, and in course of time at the ice-bound ports,, 
Newchwang, Tientsin and Ohefoo ; and, arising from this 
work, the Inspector General conceived the idea of a 
Chinese Imperial Post. In 1876 he was authorised by 
the Tsungli Yamen to inform the British envoy that it 
was ready to take up the task of establishing a national 
postal service, if it could be included in the Chefoo 
convention ; but Sir T; Wade was obsessed by other 
questions, and the subject was not referred to. How- 
ever, Mr. G. Detring took the matter up at Tientsin and, 
with the support of the viceroy, Li Hung-chang, and 
authorised by Sir R. Hart, he supervised the institution in 
1878 of a restricted service for the northern ports, extended 
in December, 1879. to the Yangtze ports, and in 1882 to 
all ports north of Fukien. Alongside this " postal depart- 
ment " service for foreign correspondence, was established 
the skeleton of a " Shu-hsin Kwan," or "Letter Office" 
for Chinese correspondence. 

§ 10. The first postage stamps were issued in 1878, of 
three denominations, 1, 3 and 5 candarins (Tls. 001 
Tls. 003 and Tls. 0*05) ; of these 1,004,864 were issued. 
The second issue, of the same denominations, appeared in 
1885 ; ' of these 1,707,539 were issued. The third issue, 
in commemoration of the empress dowager's sixtieth 


— — — ■ 1 • 

birthday, [9 j appeared in 1894 ; it was in nine denomina- 
tions, from 1 to 24 candarins, and of it 624,857 stamps 
were issued. The fourth issue, surcharged in dollar nota- 
tion* on stamps of the third issue and on a 3-cent revenue 
stamp, appeared in 1897; it was iri ten denominations 
(J, 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 30 cents, 1 and 5 dollars) and 
of it there was a net issue of 2,229,966 stamps. The 
fifth issue appeared in 1898 ; it was in twelve denomina- 
tions (§, 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 50 cents, 1, 2 and 5 
dollars) and the issues were 4,562,130. The sixth issue 
was in 1899, three denominations (3, 7 and 16 cents) being 
subsequently added. The seventh issue was made by the 
republic, surcharged on the stamps of the sixth ; and the 
eighth was a new issue by the republic. 

§ 11. In 1876 China had been turned from her half- 
formulated intention of organising a national service ; but 
in 1878 she was formally invited to join the International 
Postal Union. In the same year Sir R. Hart, wjiile in 
Paris, was approached by the French minister of Foreign 
Affairs with a proposal for closing the French post-office, 
then only at. Shanghai, and the assumption of its work 
by China ; then, and from time to time in later years, the 
Hongkong Postmaster-general expressed his entire readi- 
ness to close the British post-offices in Chinese ports #s 
soon as China would undertake the work ; and at intervals 
arrangements were discussed for taking over the work of 
the Shanghai municipal post-office. But the Inspector 
General would not consent to undertake these tasks until 
he was provided with the machinery and the authority of 
a properly organised national Post. Hampered as he was 
by, the existence of the Ichan and the letter hongs, and 
under the necessity of grafting Western methods on a 
Chinese organisation, his maxim was to assure his ground 
before he stepped, and then to move slowly. [10] 

[9] " The fates are not precisely smiling on the empress dowager's 
birthday preparations, and if Japan attempts a march on Peking I doubt 
if there will be any celebration. . . . Thus one does not approach the idea 
of a jubilee stamp with much enthusiasm. Further, Japan is now out of 
the question for engraving, and Shanghai will have to do the work— can 
it ? "— R. Hart to H. Kopsch, Aug. 17th, 1894. 

[10] A good illustration of his procedure in this time of preparation is 
given by a letter written to the Postal Secretary towards the end of the 
first year of the national Post. Though written currente calamo and in 
urose form, it has rhyme and. rhythm, and has good sense and caution too. 


§ 12. The Shu-hsin Kwan, always supported by Li 
Hung-chang, worked on under the control of Sir R. Hart, 
but with its development directly in the hands of Mr. 
Detring ; but, except for the winter mails, its expansion 
was not noteworthy. The conception of a national ser- 
vice was, however, not lost sight of, and it was constantly 
pressed on the attention of the authorities, by Mr. Detring 
on that of the viceroy, and by Sir R. Hart on that of the 

The Postal Secretary to whom it was written was also Statistical Secretary, 
with his office at Shanghai ; his successors as Postal Secretary had their 
office at Peking. 

" I fear, the more you hurry, the more will be our worry, and I think 
the postal business ought not to go too fast : what now concerns us most 
is just the Chinese coast — what's foreign will come easier, taken last. 
First get rid of all disorder inside our proper border, and then push on to 
tackle something more : while there's danger on the deep, had we not 
better keep in port in quiet water near the shore ? There's lots of time before 
us — why let clamour bore us ? It is not waste of time to do things well ! 
But, if our men get fuddled, the business will be muddled, and what further 
trouble that breeds I'd rather not foretell ! I think if we keep steady, and 
only move when ready, we're bound to win without the least disaster; 
but, if we quit the track, I fear that getting back will make bad time instead 
of going faster. The steam negotiation has caused some indignation — 
Legations think that they have been insulted ! — but if we had shown our 
hand, we'd have lost what's ours — command, and that's the reason they 
were not consulted. For, had we not succeeded in getting what we 
needed, what a fix we'd have been in to send the mails ! But now the road 
is clear, and cost is only dear when money's paid for any scheme that fails. 
Are those postage plates appearing ? I often can't help fearing they 
won't arrive before our work's begun ; thin paper, too, is wanted — though 
the requisition's granted, when will the London Office have all done ? 
The Hongkong proposition to you when on that mission, if giv'n effect 
to would be quite the thing ; but I fail to understand the telegrams to 
hand, and wait to read the news your letters bring. The Notice you 
propose — that offices will close — seems also something more than we 
require : will they themselves desist ? Is it we that must insist ? I wish 
you'd wire more clearly when you wire ! Our couriers travel slow in 
Shantung where the snow fell heavy and lies deep along the route ; we 
have had no mails for days, and, instead of winning praise, our system's 
losing some of its repute. I see no way to mend it, so one simply must 
defend it, and hope the men now missing will get through ; but I fear 
Legation mails, that crawl along like snails, won't like to pay a Coast 
rate — what say you ? It's little use complaining ; experience we'll be 
gaining that ought to come in usefully all round ; and, thus, next winter 
season, I hope, will give less reason, for saying our procedure is unsound. 
What faults did you detect when you ran round to inspect ? Were our 
people well advanced in preparation ? Do you think all will go well, and 
did your visit tell, and are there grounds for self- congratulation ? 'Tis 
not my wish to bully, but you really must write fully, and tell me all your 
doings and your news ; the situation's such that we two must keep touch — 
local action must accord with Peking views ! I write this letter laughing, but 
do not think I'm chaffing : my every word, I trust, has proper meaning ; 
so carefully digest it, and, when you como to test it, you'll find ideas in 
it well worth gleaning." — R. Hart to H. Kopsch, Jan. 25th, 1897. 


Tsungli Yamen. In 1893 the matter was under serious 
consideration, [11] but the war stopped progress. After 
the war the project was again taken up, [12] but it still 
hung fire. [13] Finally, after many years of considera- 
tion,^] an imperial decree of March 20th, 1896, ordered 
the creation of a national Post, under the direction of Sir 
R. Hart, who then became Inspector-General of Customs 
and Posts. Under him to this end Mr. G. Detring had 
worked for twenty years, with great energy and efficiency. 
After this the successive Postal Secretaries were Mr. H. 
Kopsch in 1896, Mr. J. A. van Aalst from 1897, and Mr. 
Theophile Piry since 1901 ; to the last named the present 
organisation of the Post-office is due ; but it was always 
Sir R. Hart who set the pace. [15] 

[11] " Post-office is still simmering and I believe the Yamen is taking 
the opinion of various provincial personages, before making tne final 
plunge."— R. Hart to H. Kopsch, Feb. l?*h, 1894. Cf. also Mr. Denby 
to Mr. Gresham, July 1st, 1893, U.S. For. K«L 1893, p. 237. 

[12] I had a long talk with the new Ministers last Friday — Weng 
Tung-ho and Li Hung-tsao. and they gave me quite a lecture on the uri- 
suitability of proposals that are not feasible. ' Anybody can — everybody 
does — make proposals,' they say, ' but we have to work them : their part 
is easy enough — ours is quite another thing ! ' If Chang takes up the 
Postal matter I daresay he will be able to put it through : I brought it 
again to the notice of the Yamen a fortnight ago, asking them will they go 
on with it or drop it, and as yet have got no reply. It would be best 
if the Yamen, i.e. if Central government and not a Provincial official, took 
it on itself to engineer reform : plan, continuity and success would be the 
result." — R. Hart to tt. Kopsch, Aug. 29th, 1895. 

Chang was either Chang Chih-tung, then viceroy at Nanking, or Chang 
Yin-hwan (cf. chap, ii, § 18), then a minister of the Tsungli Yamen ; prob- 
ably the viceroy (see n. 13). 

[13] "I hope you en j oyed your trip to Nanking. Chang is full of plans, 
but hitherto he has been exploited by his surroundings and little good has 
been got for much expenditure. If you get hold of him, perhaps you'll 
' engineer ' him to more advantage as far as China is concerned. I put 
Postal — and many other matters — before the Prince and Ministers six 
weeks ago, but just now everything hangs fire waiting for the replies of 
the provinces and also perhaps owing to uncertainty about Liao-tung." — 
Same to same, Sept. 9th, 1895. 

[14] '" Yamen tellb me an edict will be out to-morrow (20th) establishing 
Post-office on the quiet lines I recommended for a beginning. ... It is 
exasperating to think how long the Chinese officials take to say Go ! Both 
these things (Post and Silver) have been in the hands of the Yamen several 
years ! " — Same to same, March 19th, 1890. 

[15] "I am quite sure my plan is the safe one, and my pace not only 
prudent, but the only pace that will win through, and in the interest of all 
it is the tortoise and not the hare we must imitate." — R. Hart to H. Kopsch, 
Aug. 12th, 1890. 

" It is my intention to place details in the hands of a Postal Secretary as 

III— 5 


§ 13. Sir R. Hart's task was difficult. The authority 
and monopoly accorded to the postal authorities in Wes- 
tern countries were not, and could not be, granted to him. 
The Ichan continued to carry the government despatches, 
and its abolition could not then even be suggested. The 
letter hongs could not be forcibly closed ; facilities had 
even to be given to their " clubbed mails " at favorable 
rates ; and it was only by offering to the public a better, 
cheaper and quicker service that competition with them 
was possible. The foreign post-offices were at the outset 
willing enough to hand over the work of collecting and 
distributing in China; but they retained a jealous hold 
on their subsidised mail-steamer lines, and in time ques- 
tions of political interest made them less inclined to close 
their doors. No powers of compulsion existed by which 
steamers under foreign flags, plying along the coast or on 
the rivers, could be forced to receive the mails of the 
Chinese Post or to refuse to receive those of other offices, 
Chinese or foreign. The International Postal Union con- 
stantly invited the adhesion of China ; but as constantly 
full adhesion was rejected so long as China was not full 
master of' her own postal affairs. All these compli- 
cations might well make Sir R. Hart declare — " The 
slower we go, the better ; the faster we go, the surer 
we are to lose our footing and flounder into sand or 
quicksand. "[16] 

§ 14. Caution was therefore the order of the day. 
The customs office was made the basis of the Post, and 
each customs district became at first the unit of area for 
postal working. The commissioner of customs became the 
postmaster-general for the district ; his customs staff did 
all the secretarial, accountant and recording work ; and a 

much as possible, but he must follow my general plan and take his time 
from me." — Same to same, Aug. 14th, 189(3. 

" In future please keep me informed of everything you do, for there 
are rocks ahead and difficulties all round, and when anything goes wrong 
it's myself that gets the whipping ! " — Same to same, Nov. 6th, 1896. 

" Do not begin any negotiations till you and I have decided what they 
are to be. Above all, keep me well informed in letters and despatches, 
and when you wire, wire intelligibly. We are bound to win, but we must 
go slowly : and you must submit, as the Lieutenant, to take your ' time ' 
from headquarters — Peking." — Same to same, Feb. 26th, 1897. See also 
n. 10. 

[16] R. Hart to H. Kopsch, Feb. 26th, 1897. 


separate postal staff was created only for the work directly 
connected with the handling of letters. The service could 
not, under the conditions of its existence, be self-support- 
ing ; and yet it worked for seven years, until 1904, with- 
out a subvention, and in that year was granted Tls. 720,000 
a year, of which perhaps a half was actually issued ; and 
for fifteen years, until 1911, large deficits had annually to 
be met from funds provided for the maintenance of the 
customs. [17] For it was customs funds which provided 
men who did much important work for the postal ser- 
vice — Inspector General, Deputy Postal Secretary, District 
Postmasters, District Accountants and Secretaries, and 
many subordinate employees ; the mass of printed forms 
required was supplied by the customs ; office accommo- 
dation was provided on customs premises at many of the 
smaller ports ; steamer mail subsidies were paid from 
customs funds ; and much minor expenditure formed jio 
charge on the postal budget. 

§ 15. Under this system the life blood of customs 
energy was drained away, but without this aid a Chinese 
service could not have been instituted ; without it an 
exotic organisation would have, been formed, having its 
roots in Western practice, but not satisfying the needs of 
China ; with it has grown up a service which has grafted 
Western methods on Chinese requirements. [18] That 
organisation has been done by men trained in the Chinese 
customs service and without postal experience, and it 
speaks volumes for the spirit animating that service that 
this unaccustomed work was cheerfully undertaken and 
carried through. The organisation was effected by the 

[17] The tide turned in 1915, when a small surplus was shown ; and 
in 1916 the receipts of the postal service exceeded its expenditure by 
625,485 silver dollars. — Annual Report for 1916 of Mr. H. Picard-Destelan, 
Co-Director General of Chinese Posts. 

[18] " Circumstances here are not the same as elsewhere, and the 
Postal Union connexion is far too elaborate a system for us to start on — 
of course we'll work up to it. As to an ' expert ' — I arranged with B. 
to lend me a couple of good men, one for Shanghai and one for Peking, but 
the time for them has not yet come : after we have hewn the block into 
something that suggests form we shall get them out to chip it into shape 
and do the polishing : they would be disgusted now and would go right 
home again ! After all. the responsibility is on my shoulders, and we can 
only go safely by following my lines — and that is what I want all to do, 
but of course men at ports have free hands, not to alter general principles, 
but to suit practice to port requirements and to follow local peculiarities 
in planning local procedure." — R. Hart to H. Kopsch, March 21st, 1897. 


foreign staff of the customs ; but the postal work was 
done with a minimum of foreign help. In 1910 the customs 
included in all grades 1369 foreigners and 5816 Chinese ; 
but in that same year the post-office staff included 95 
foreigners of the customs staff doing post-office work, 99 
foreigners transferred definitely from the customs, and 
11,885 Chinese of all grades. 

§ 16. In April, 1896, China addressed the Swiss Federal 
Council, notifying it of the creation of the imperial Post, 
and of her intention fo join the Postal Union as soon as 
her postal organisation was sufficiently perfected ; at the 
same time she declared that her post-offices would observe 
Union practice and rules. But, while observing the rules, 
she still refrained from giving her full adhesion ; as Sir 
R. Hart phrased it — " Demand for full adhesion to the 
Union and for haste generally — for running before we can 
crawl — make me feel like a man who is shut in a coach 
with a driver on the box who wants to start his untrained 
team down a declivity to the left instead of toiling up the 
hill that is in front."[19] At first, then, the interior work- 
ing of. the offices was taken in hand, and towns having 
commercial relations with the treaty ports were given 
postal facilities. The public had first to be accustomed 
to the idea of a national Post. Senders were encouraged 
to hand their letters for foreign countries to the Chinese 
offices franked with Chinese stamps at Union rates ; the 
Chinese service then affixed foreign stamps at the same 
rates and handed the letters to the foreign offices ; in this 
way the Chinese offices, though they received no part 
of the postage, still introduced the principle that the}' 
were to handle the mail matter ; and they further ac- 
cepted incoming foreign mail matter and gave it free 

§ 17. One of the principal reasons for this caution was 
the necessity for buying the co-operation of the foreign 
steamers plying in Chinese waters [20] ; and this was 
done at the expense of the customs. Early in the history 
of the customs the rule had been established that the 

[191 R. Hart to H. Kopsch, Aug. 12th, 1896. 

[205 Tonnage of shipping under foreign flags entered and cleared at 
Chinese ports in 189G : foreign trade, 9,059,365 tons; coasting trade, 
17,175,200 tons. 


loading and discharge of cargo could be carried on only 
between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and on week 
days [21] ; to provide for exceptional cases special permits 
were issued, for which a fee was charged — Tls. 10 for a 
half-night, Tls. 20 for a whole night, Tls. 20 for a holiday, 
double fees for holiday night work ; and in time, with the 
increase in the use of steamers, this extra work became 
the regular practice, while the payment of the fees was 
felt by the steamer companies to be a grievance. The 
fees did not, however, form the perquisite of the officers 
who did the extra work, but were drawn on to increase the 
staff available for the duty. Sir R. Hart now made an 
ingenious proposal, offering to refund half the special 
permit fees paid by those steamer companies which would 
agree to carry the mails of the Chinese Post and to refuse 
all others. Even in putting forward the proposal he was 
cautious — " Take care how you handle this, for, if the 
[steamer] companies get to thinking we are in their clutches, 
they may prove hard to deal with, and either squeeze us 
for their consent or refuse consent — in which latter case 
we would be in a very bad fix indeed ! You will see now 
why I am going so slowly and cautiously, and why I hold 
back from full adhesion to the Postal Union till we have 
everything in working order. "[22] The steamer com- 
panies assented to the proposal and agreed to accept this 
refund as payment for carriage of the mails coastwise ; a 
good bargain for them then, but within ten years the 
advantage of the bargain was to the Post. 

§ 18. Adhesion to the Postal Union was still with- 
held, but China conformed in every way to its rules and 
practice ; and the principle adonted was succinctly ex- 
pressed thus — ' k The native postal establishments must 
be kept up, the foreign post-offices must be humoured, and 
the Postal Union can do nothing for us ; I have therefore 
been working here for launching our system in such a 
way as to not merely meet these conditions but also, on 
one side, secure recognition and support for principle, and, 
on the other, avoid responsibilities we are not prepared 
for. "[23] With all this caution the progress was slow, 

[21] Cf. " Submission," chap, vii, § 7. 

[22] R. Hart to H. Kopsch, Nov. 6th, 1896. 

[23] Same to same, Feb. 26th, 1897. 


but ultimately, in February, 1900, a convention was 
signed with France, followed by others, in 1903 with 
Japan, in 1904 with India and Hongkong. The Tran- 
siberian route not being opened, these postal administra- 
tions controlled the routes for China's foreign mails ; and 
with them it was agreed that each side should receive, 
transport and distribute mail matter franked at Union 
rates with postage stamps of the other, and this reciprocity 
of service was paid for, as is done between any two Union 
countries, on the basis of yearly statistics. These con- 
ventions have placed China in the same relations with all 
Postal Union countries as if she had joined the Union ; 
but complete and formal adhesion to the Union was 
accepted by China only in time for her to be represented 
at the World's Postal Congress which was to be — but was 
not — held at Madrid in September, 1914. 

§ 19. Nothing was done that could in any way an- 
tagonise the Ichan, with the official interest behind it ; 
the letter hongs, however, must be fought. Behind them 
was a strong commercial interest, and this could always 
command the support of the gentry, and from the gentry 
were mainly drawn the officials. They had, therefore, to 
be at the same time fought and cajoled. They were first 
summoned to register ; and, though at the outset they 
generally refused, they were ultimately driven to it by the 
monopoly of steam transport acquired by the Post in the 
agreement with the steamer companies. Then they were 
required to send their mail matter in " clubbed mails " 
through the Post ; this requirement they resisted when- 
ever they could. From treaty port to treaty port the 
clubbed mails were carried, at first free of charge ; while 
half the tariff rates of postage were charged on these mails 
on other steam routes, and full rates on courier lines. In 
1906 the hongs worked up an agitation in the cities along 
the Yangtze and demanded free transport for clubbed 
mails, irrespective of destination or mode of transport. 
The strike failed, and the imperial government enacted 
that the letter hongs must pay on the gross weight of their 
clubbed mails, half the tariff rates on routes served by 
steamer or railway, and full rates on courier lines. The 
hongs still maintained the contest, readily abandoning 
unprofitable lines, but fighting stoutly for those which gave 



them a profit ; but it was a losing fight, 
letters in clubbed mails was as follows : 

The number of 



§ 20. The Chinese Post was severed from the customs 
on May 28th, 1911, and placed under the ministiy of Posts 
and Communications ; at its head Li Ching-fang was 
placed as Director- General, with Mr. Theophile Piry as 
Postmaster-General. The development during ten- years 
may be read in the following figures : 





Districts No. 




Post-offices ,, 




Postal Agencies ,, 




Mail matter. Articles [21] 




Parcels. No. 




Clubbed mails. Letters 




Money orders issued. $ 




Mail routes : 

Railway : miles 




Steamer : ,, 




Native boat : ,, 




Courier : ,, 




. [24] This line gives the number of pieces of mail matter handled in all 
offices. The true statistical category is " articles posted," of which there 
were 197,484,136 in the year 1913, and 250,432,273 in the year 1916. 
Parcels are similarly exaggerated (1,380,912 in 1913) ; but the other items 
need no correction. 



1. China content with its communications . 

2. Proposed railway Shanghai-Soochow, 18G3, rejected 

3. Sir M. Stephenson's proposals, 18(33, rejected . 

4. Railway line laid Shanghai-Wusung, 1875-70 . 

5. Line bought by China and removed 

6. The Kaiping steam tramway, 1880 

7. The Formosa railway, 1887 . 

8. Kaiping tramway extended to Tientsin, 1888 . 

9. Opposition to proposed extension to Peking . 

10. Extension to Shanhaikwan and into Manchuria. 1801 

11. Completion of Imperial Railways of North China 

12. Li Hung-chang's influence supports Russia . 

13. Agreements with Russia regarding Manchuria, 1890 

14. Russo-Chinese Bank and Transiberian Railway 
1/5. The Chinese Eastern Railway 
10. The Bureau of Control for Railways and Mines 

17. Peking-Hankow line : struggle for control 

18. Memorial by Mr. G. Detring, 1897 . 

19. Construction entrusted to Belgians 

20. German lines in Shantung . 

21. Anglo-German line Tientsin to Yangtze . 

22. Final settlement on Pukow terms . 

23. French lines in South China .... 

24. Hankow-Canton line : American contract 

25. Line redeemed by China by English loan 

26. Attitude of British government to railway claims 

27. British lines in Yangtze basin . . 

28. British line in Honan : redeemed by China . 

29. Other railways in China .... 

30. Japanese railways in Manchuria . 

31. Formation of Four-power Group . 

32. Hukwang railways undertaken by it 
Table of the railways of China : Appendix B 


































§ 1. Fifty years ago China was the one great commercial 
country in the world which had no railways. Of the 
eighteen provinces of China proper, twelve [1] were served, 

[1] Chihli, Shantung. Honan, Hupeh, Hunan, Kiangsi, Anhwei, 
Kiangsu, Chekiang, Fukien, Kwangtung, Kwangsi. 



in all their populous parts by waterways which provided 
safe and cheap transport for their commodities. Of the 
remaining provinces, Szechwan alone was at once rich in 
its products and populous, but its whole area was moun- 
tainous and broken ; Yunnan was poor and mountainous ; 
Kweichow was thinly populated and sufficiently well served 
by its rivers ; Kansu was poor and remote ; and the two 
adjoining provinces of Shansi and Shensi alone, in the 
light of our later knowledge, offered a promising field for 
railway development. The bankers of Shansi were con- 
cerned with the finances of all the provinces, and not 
primarily with the development of their own ; the mer- 
chants generally throughout China were quite contented 
with the means of transport provided, especially since the 
slow and uncertain junk had been supplemented by the 
fast and insurable steamer ; and it was left to the rulers 
of the empire to decide what should be the national policy 
in respect of railways. 

§ 2. In March, 18G3, Gordon took command of the 
' Ever-victorious Army " under the supreme command 
of Li Hung- "hang. During the next five weeks he gained 
the victories of^Eushan, Changshu and Taitsang, and at 
the end of May he captured Kunshan ; from this time the 
end of the Taiping rebellion was clearly in sight. Gordon 
then proceeded to isolate Soochow and that city fell on 
December 4th. [2] In anticipation of its fall a group of 
twenty-seven English and American firms at Shanghai 
presented a petition on July 20th to Li Hung-chang, as 
governor of Kiangsu, asking a concession for a railway 
from Shanghai to Soochow. The governor had a very 
keen sense of the aggressiveness of foreigners. As a 
patriotic Chinese he resented the conditions imposed on 
China by the treaty settlements of 1842-44 and 1858-60, 
especially the demand for extraterritoriality ; as an ad- 
ministrator he had come in touch with the tendency of the 
foreign merchants to extend their privileges by interpret- 
ing them according to the spirit of the treaties, and 
not their letter [8] ; and as a commander in the field he 
had within the previous six months been subjected to 
three mutinies of -the foreign-officered " Ever- victorious 

[2] Cf. " Submission," chap, v, §§ 4-11. 

[3] Ibid., chap, vi, §§ 7, 11, 16 ; chap, vii, §§ 4-6. 


Army. "[4] In this frame of mind he returned the answer 
that " railways would only be beneficial to China when 
undertaken by the Chinese themselves and conducted 
under their own management ; that serious objections 
existed to the employment of numerous foreigners in the 
interior ; and that the people would evince great opposi- 
tion to being deprived of their land for that purpose." 
The petition was thus rejected. [5] 

§ 3. In that same year an English engineer, Sir Mac- 
Donald Stephenson, paid an unsolicited visit to China, 
with the avowed purpose of saving China from the evils 
of haphazard development, such as had occurred in Eng- 
land. From the incomplete information then available 
he laid down certain trunk systems : from Hankow west- 
ward through Szechwan and Yunnan to Burma ; from 
Hankow eastward to Shanghai ; from Hankow southward 
to Canton ; from Chinkiang northward to Tientsin and 
Peking ; from Shanghai to Ningpo ; and from Foochow 
into the interior. It did not require a great engineer to 
make these proposals, and, such as they were, they were 
rejected. [6] They served, however, as the text from 
which one friendly adviser after another exhorted the 
rulers of China to advance the interests of their country 
by building railways. This frightened them ; and while 
the advisers were inspired more and more by roseate visions 
of railway possibilities in China, the rulers were filled with 
greater dismay at the possible injection of still another 
foreign interest to be covered by extraterritorial privilege. 
This foreign aim was declared in 1868 through the mouth 
of Mr. Burlingame, who asserted that China was then ready 

[4] Cf. " Submission,' 1 chap, iv, §§ 18, 10 ; chap, v, §§ 5, 8. 

[5] Sir H. Parkes to Sir M. Stephenson, March 8th, 1864, cited in Kent, 
" Railway Enterprise in China," p. 2 ; Laboulaye, " Chemins de Fer de 
Chine," p. 1 1 . These two works give excellent and trustworthy accounts 
of the progress of railway construction in China. They need to be cor- 
rected only for their want cf intimate knowledge of Chinese domestic 
conditions. Mr. Kent, for example, (p. 5) ascribes Sir M. Stephenson's 
failure in 1 8(vl to the fact that he found support only among Chinese 
merchants, while " this class occupied the lowest grade in the Chinese 
polity, and at that time enjoyed but little refinement." This was true of 
Japan, but not of China. Chinese gilds have always exerted much power, 
and in China the gentry and merchants are closely allied, individuals 
passing readily from one class to the other, and often standing astride 
the two. 

[6] Kent, op. cit., p. 3. 


to engage Western engineers to open mines and build 
railways ; but the attitude of the imperial ministers was 
expressed by Wensiang — " The only instruction we gave 
our envoy was to keep the A Vest from forcing us to build 
railways and telegraphs, which we want only so far as 
they are due to our own initiative.' ? [7] 

§ 4. The Shanghai merchants in 1865 formed a com- 
pany to make a railway from Shanghai to Wusung, a length 
of ten miles. This would have presented no difficulty two 
years earlier, when the country to be traversed was in 
the occupation of the English and French allied forces 
holding the thirty-mile radius ; but in 1865 the territory 
had reverted to the control of the Chinese civil authorities, 
and only the warmest support from those authorities could 
have overcome the difficulties in the way of expropriating 
the land in a territory so covered w T ith graves and ceme- 
teries, objects of the highest reverence to all Chinese. 
The promoters then resorted to a subterfuge. They ob- 
tained permission to re-construct the military carriage 
road from Shanghai to Wusung, and to acquire by private 
negotiation the land necessary to widen and straighten it. 
In this wajr they unostentatiously bought the land and 
made the embankments and culverts needed for a raised 
road over a level country, intersected by creeks and liable 
to floods. In 1872 there was another project for making 
a tramway (at that time involving horse traction) within 
the settlement limits from the extreme end of Hongkew, 
along Broadway and the Bund, to the East Gate of the 
city. [8] Soon after the promoters of the Wusung line 
announced that they proposed to lay rails for a " tram- 
way " along their new road [9] ; and for this at least they 
received authority from the British envoy, who founded 
his action on the words of art. iv of the treaty of 1858 — 
" Treaty ports or other places " — thus supporting the ex- 
treme pretensions of the foreign merchants. [10] The rails 
for the " tramway " were landed at Shanghai in December, 
1875, and work was at once begun on the permanent way 
of a line of 30-inches gauge ; but the Chinese soon learned 

[7] Cf. " Submission," chap, ix, §§ 6, 9. 

[8] " News-letter," cited in North-China Herald, March 21st, 1872. 
[9] In translating both " road " and " tramway " it would have been 
quite impossible to avoid using the word " horse " as a prefix. 
[10] Cf. " Submission," chap x, §§ 7, 8. 


that the tramway was to be actually a railway,[ll] and, 
on February 23rd, 1876, the Taotai enjoined the promoters 
to stop the construction until he could refer to Peking. 
The British envoy had meantime been- reminded that his 
government had never supported the contention that 
foreign activities might be extended to " other places " ; 
and when, after waiting a month in vain for the official 
permit, the promoters decided to go on with the work, it 
was without the authorisation of their own legation. 

§ 5. The line was completed to Kiangwan, five miles, 
by June 30th, and from that day six trains a day each way 
were run for passengers only. These trains were crowded 
and the railway seemed very popular with the people ; 
but on August 3rd a man walking on the line was killed 
under circumstances which suggested, either extremely 
dense stupidity, or a malicious intention to commit suicide 
and thereby create a prejudice against railways. If it 
was the latter, the intention succeeded, and the attitude 
of the people became threatening. Sir T. Wade was then 
in Shanghai, on the point of leaving for Chefoo where he 
was to negotiate the Chefoo convention [12] ; and, by his 
instructions, the running of the trains was suspended. 
On October 24th the Nanking viceroy signed an agreement 
by which China bought the railway — land and plant — for 
Tls. 285,000, its actual cost. Traffic was then resumed 
by the promoters as security for the purchase money ; 
but, the money having been paid on October 21st, 1877, 
the line was handed over to the Chinese authorities, who 
at once tore it up and shipped off rails and rolling stock to 
Formosa, where it was left rusting on the beach.[13] And 
so ended in failure an attempt, based on subterfuge, to 
impose on China a railway which she did not yet want. 

§ 6. The next attempt was also based on a subterfuge, 
but one carried through by Chinese for China, and avoid- 
ing the foreign element which had been fatal to the previous 
ventures. Tong King-sing, the head of the China Mer- 
chants Steam Navigation Company, had in 1878 opened 
the Kaiping coal mine to obtain a direct supply of native 

[11] "Tramway," horse-carriage iron-road ; "railway," fire- carriage 

[12] Cf. " Submission," chap, xiv, § 18. 

[13] Kent, pp. 9 seq. ; Laboulaye, pp. 227 sen. 


coal for Iris steamers. [14] The main shaft at Tongshan was 
twenty-nine miles from the nearest shipping port, Pehtang, 
and seven miles from Hsiikochwang, the. nearest point to 
which a canal could be made. , Mr. R. R. Burnett, the chief 
engineer, proposed a railway from the mine to Pehtang ; 
this was approved by Tong King-sing and obtained the 
imperial assent, and Mr. C. W. Kinder was placed in charge 
of the construction. In a short time the imperial assent 
was withdrawn and the work stopped. Mr. Kinder then 
obtained Tong King- sing's consent to connect Tongshan 
with Hsiikochwang by a tramway, the track to be stan- 
dard railway gauge, 4 ft. 8 J in., and the cars to be drawn 
by mules ; and this line was begun in 1880 and completed 
in 1881. Meanwhile he had built a locomotive, of which 
the boiler had originally belonged to a portable winding 
engine, the wheels had been bought as scrap iron, and the 
frame was made of old channel iron ; its total cost was 
>'520 (£95). Orders came to stop its construction, but the 
viceroy Li Hung-chang was interested and gave his 
approval ; and finally, on June 9th, 1881, the hundredth 
anniversary of George Stephenson's birth, it was christened 
the 'Rocket of China." Its success was soon demon- 
strated and, in 1882, two tank engines were bought to 
work the seven-mile length of railway to the canal, which 
had meanwhile been dug to Lutai on the Pehtang river. [15] 
§ 7. The next venture was made in Formosa. Liu 
Ming-chuan had as imperial High Commissioner success- 
fully defended the island against the French in 1884-85, 
but the war showed clearly the necessity for making For- 
mosa a province of the empire, and of this province its 
defender became the first governor. The war showed also 
the importance of Kelung and its vulnerability — important 
because it was the only sheltered harbour in the island 
and had near it the coal mines opened in 1875 ; and vul- 
nerable because it was closely encircled on the landward 
side by a range of rugged hills which were within easy 
cannon-shot of the open sea. Having transferred the 
capital from Tainanfu to Taipehfu, plans were considered 
for connecting the latter by a carriage road with Kelung, 
distant eighteen miles ; but Liu Ming-chuan, an energetic 

[14] Cf. " Submission," chap, xv, § 8. 
[15] Kent, pp. 22 seq. ; Laboulaye, p. 12. 


army commander, was easily persuaded [16] to substitute 
a railway for the road. It took some time to obtain the 
imperial assent, even for an experimental province like 
Taiwan (Formosa), but it came at the end of 1886 ; and, 
in March, 1887, the governor himself, with the aid of the 
English engineer, and accompanied by his whole retinue, 
traced the line for the first four miles. This line was to 
be built by Chinese for the Chinese, and there was no 
obstruction ; but the work was done by soldiers, and the 
labour conditions were so unsatisfactory that, in the first 
two years, five engineers-in-chief resigned in succession. 
The work was ultimately carried through under the super- 
vision of Mr. Henry C. Matheson. [17] The line to Kelung. 
was completed in 1891, and that towards southern For- 
mosa reached Teckcham (Sinchu), thirty miles from 
Taipehfu, in 1893. The line was throughout the victim 
of Chinese official management ; it was starved in its 
construction, its equipment, and its working ; the Peking 
authorities refused to sanction any steps for the developr 
ment of Kelung, which might then become an appetising 
bait for a hostile force ; and the Japanese in 1895 took 
over little except fifty miles of badly laid track. [18] 

§ 8. One result of the war with France was to inaugu- 
rate the period of syndicates, which at first, however, were 
adopted only by France. In order to utilise whatever 
advantage there might be in the treaty provision that, if 
China should decide to build railways, the French govern- 
ment would give her •' every facility to procure in France 
the personnel she might need, "[19] French industry com- 
bined and established at Tientsin a central office prepared 
to undertake the construction of China's railways. It 

[16] The author believes that he was probably the first to suggest 
the substitution in a visit he paid to the High Commissioner in the course 
of an official mission in July, 1885. 

[17] Mr. Matheson in the spring of 1900 made, with Mr. John Birch 
ahd Lieut. Watts-Grant, one of a party of three engaged in prospecting in 
Hunan, and, on the outbreak of the Boxer uprising, they were on their 
way from Hankow to Tientsin. While they were rafting across the Yellow 
Biver Mr. Birch was drowned ; later on Lieut. Watts-Grant was murdered 
in Mongolia ; and Mr. Matheson, after serving in the Tientsin volunteers, 
was lost in the wreck of the City of Rio de Janeiro outside San Francisco 
in April, 1901. 

[18] J. W. Davidson, " The Island of Formosa," pp. 247 seq. ; H. B. 
Morse, Beport on Tamsui, " Decennial Beports, 1882-91," p. 449. 

[19] Cf. " Submission," chap, xyii, § 29. 


obtained a contract to build docks and fortifications, 
estimated to cost Tls. 2,500,000, at Port Arthur, the prin- 
cipal Chinese naval station ; but the Chinese still preferred 
to build their own railways. In 1886 the Kaiping steam 
tramway was extended to Lutai, the cost for twenty miles 
being only $135,000 (£25,000). The viceroy's interest was 
excited ; but, though he saw clearly the commercial 
advantage, he based his interest on strategic grounds, and 
on those grounds obtained the support of Ihwan, Prince 
Chun, father of the emperor and president of the newly- 
established Admiralty. On March 15th, 1887, the prince 
memorialised the throne urging that the railway be ex- 
tended eastward to Shanhaikwan, and westward to 
Tientsin and thence to Peking, " in order to facilitate the 
movement of troops and the transport of war material " ; 
and a rescript at once granted the memorialist's prayer. [20] 
The China Railway Company was then formed, with Wu 
Ting-fang as director and in charge of the finances, and 
Mr. Kinder as engineer in charge of the construction. 
Subscriptions were invited to the capital of Tls. 1,000,000, 
which was obtained after much delay and with great 
difficulty ; and tenders called for to supply 2,000 tons of 
rails were numerous, quickly sent in, and for attractive 
prices. The work was completed by April, 1888, to 
Tangku, opposite Taku, at the mouth of the Peiho, and 
by August to Tientsin, the total cost of construction being 
about $19,000 (£3,000) a mile. 

§ 9. A third of the proposed line had now been built, 
eighty miles ; the western section, Tientsin to Peking 
(Lukowchiao), was also to be eighty miles ; and the eastern 
section, Tongshan to Shanhaikwan, also eighty miles. It 
was now proposed to construct the western section before 
the eastern ; but the forces of reaction, and of opposition 
to Li Hung-chang and all his works, became active, and 
the Grand Council withheld its assent and called for the 
opinions of the viceroys and governors. [21] Of the replies 

[20] Text of Memorial in Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard, April 5th, 1887, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1887, p. 208. 

[21] This opposition to Li Hung-chang's projects had already been 
directed against the construction of the line between Tangku and Tientsin. 
Mr.^Denby to Mr. Bayard, Jan. 12th, Feb. 25th, 1887, U.S. For. Rel., 
1887, pp. 182, 191. This opposition was crushed by the rescript to the 
memorial of March 15th ; same to same, April 5th, 1887, ubi sup. 


received, that from Liu Ming-chiian, governor of Formosa 
and a partisan of Li Hung-chang, was most pronounced 
in support of the extension ; he disposed of the argument 
that a railway would expose Peking to attack, by pointing 
out that Tangku was the real door of Peking, and that 
the door could best be maintained by ^providing means 
of reinforcing its garrison. Chang Chih-tung, Viceroy at 
Canton and leader of the party of reaction, opposed the 
extension on strategic grounds ; and he advocated* instead 
the construction of great trunk lines, through the interior 
of the country, safely remote from the sea, beginning with 
one from Peking to Hankow. Chang Chih-tung was a 
master of style, and his memorial carried conviction to the 
minds of the imperial advisers ; and he was transferred 
to Wuchang with orders to undertake his projected trunk 
line, building it of Chinese material and under Chinese 
direction, as he had proposed. He found himself unable 
to carry out his intentions, but, to provide for the future, 
he established the Hanyang steel works. 

§ 10. The extension to Peking was thus shelved ; and, 
because of the requirement to use only Chinese capital 
and Chinese material, the trunk lines were also shelved for 
an indefinite time. Li Hung-chang was not one to sulk 
in his tents, and he decided to carry out the plan embodied 
in Prince Chun's memorial which had received the im- 
perial assent, and to proceed with the extension eastward 
to Shanhaikwan. Work was begun in 1891 without any 
specific new authority, and completed in 1894. He did 
it as a government undertaking, paid for by bank over- 
drafts secured on his revenues as viceroy, and for it he 
set up a government bureau, with the title of " The Im- 
perial Railways of North China," which, in 1894, absorbed 
the line and. plant of the China Railway Company ; to 
it he transferred Mr. Kinder as engineer-in-chief and Mr. 
A. G. Cox as constructing engineer. At the same time, 
in order to provide Manchuria with some defence against 
attack, he proposed to push his railways east of Shan- 
haikwan, into Kwanwai, the territory outside the Portal 
(of the Great Wall) ; and, by his orders, Mr. Kinder began 
surveying in that direction in 1890. The attention of 
Russia was drawn to this attempt to forestall a develop- 
ment of the Russian railways in such a way as would 



enable her to dominate Manchuria, and active opposition 
to the proposed extension by China was encouraged at 
Peking. In 1893, however, Li Hung-chang obtained the 
permission he sought, [22] and, when the war with Japan 
broke out, the line had been constructed as far as Chung - 
howso, forty miles east of Shanhaikwan. 

§ 11. Thus far had railways progressed up to the 
Japanese war. The result of that war demonstrated the 
strategic value of railways, and the absurdity of building 
only those which were " safely remote from the sea " ; in 
the autumn of 1895 the rejected extension to Peking was 
taken in hand, and a year later it was completed to Fengtai, 
and subsequently to Machiapu, a short distance outside 
the walls of Peking. The extensions were paid for by bank 
overdrafts, covered in 1898 by the issue of bonds for a 
capital sum of £2,300,000 ; and the management, purely 
Chinese, of this railway lias been so competent that, 
from its surplus profits, it has paid for several branch 
lines : one of four miles to Chinwangtao, an ice-free port 
midway between the ice-bound ports of Tientsin and 
Newchwang ; one from Peking twelve miles to Tungchow ; 
one from Peking through the Nankow pass of the Great 
Wall to Siianhwafu and Kalgan, a length of J 25 miles. 
In 1906 the length operated, excluding sidings, from 
Peking to Sinminfu outside the Portal was 588 miles, 
which had cost to build and equip $47,970,000, or per mile 
of line $81,582 (£12,482 at exchange of 1898, and £8723 
at exchange of 1906) ; and the revenue account stood as 
follows [23] : 

Receipts, lines inside the Wall 
,, ,, outside the Wall 

,, miscellaneous . 

Operating expenses . 

Net revenue .... 

Interest on £2,300,000 Bonds . 

,, on debt to Chinese govern 
ment [24] 
Surplus revenue 








[22] Mr. Denby to Mr. Gresham, June 21st, 1893, U.S. For. Rel., 1893, 
p. 236. 

[23] Kent, " Railway Enterprise," p. 71. 

[24] At the end of 1906 the debt to the Chinese government amounted 
to $21,370,000, and, beginning from 1905, was being paid off at the rate 
of $690,000 a year. 

Ill— 6 


§ 12. Until the Japanese war Li Hung-chang had been 
fearful of Russian designs on Korea ; and, if Korea should 
be absorbed by Russia, he saw that Manchuria would be 
so completely enveloped by Russian territory that China 
could not hope to maintain her commercial freedom there. 
His tendency therefore, in so far as he did not lean on 
himself alone, was to lean on the commercial nations, 
England and America, and to develop Manchuria com- 
mercially. At the end of the war it came to him as an 
awakening that it was the military nations, led by Russia, 
which stepped in and required Japan to let go her grip on 
Liaotung,[25] and that the commercial nations took no 
step in aid of the empire ; and there is ample evidence 
that from that time lie depended more and more on Russia. 
His motives were impugned ; even the sums of money 
paid to him were freely mentioned at the clubs ; but it 
may fairly be said that it was the act of a patriotic states- 
man to " cut a loss," and to save some vestiges of sove- 
reignty over the endangered provinces by compounding 
with the enemy most to be feared. The railway already 
begun from Shanhaikwan was retained, and, on the out- 
break of the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, it had been 
completed, under Chinese auspices, as far as Sinminfu on 
the way to Mukden, with a branch from Kaopangtze to 
Yingkow, the port of Newchwang ; but the rest of Man- 
churia was surrendered to development by Russia. 

§ 13. Negotiations to this effect were begun immedi- 
ately after the retrocession of Liaotung, or, more probably, 
concurrently with the discussions on the retrocession ; 
and at the end of November, 1895, though the fact was 
not published, it became known that the Russian Tran- 
siberian railway, instead of taking the long northward 
curve of the Amur and then proceeding south up the 
Ussuri, was to strike across Manchuria u in a straight line 
from Nerchinsk to Vladivostock " [26] ; this was within 
a month after the signature, on November 8th, of the 
convention retroceding Liaotung, and concurrently with 

[25] Cf. chap, ii, § 27. 

" He [Li] was also in an important sense under ih4> protection of 
Russia, that power having undertaken to hold him harmless from the 
consequences of his surrender to the Japanese [in 1895]." — Michie, " The 
Englishman in China," ii, p. 387. 

[26] North-China Herald, Dec. 6th, 1895. Cf. chap, v, §§ 1, 4. 


the exchange of the ratifications on November 29th, [27] 
In March, 1896, Li Hung-ehang was appointed ambassador 
extraordinary to represent China at the coronation of 
the Tsar. Before leaving Peking he negotiated with the 
Russian envoy, Count Cassini, but did not sign, a secret 
convention on Manchuria [28] ; while in Moscow he 
negotiated with Prince Lobanow, and did sign, a similar 
convention [29] ; Count Cassini, having declared that he 
would not leave Peking until his convention was signed, 
did leave on September 30th,[30] the signatures having 
been affixed on the 29th. These provided that Russia 
might build her own (Transiberian) railway across Man- 
churia to Vladivostock, and a line from Vladivostock to 
Hunchun and Kirin ; and that China should have recourse 
only to Russian banks to finance her railways from Shan- 
haikwan to Mukden, and from [Harbin] to Port Arthur 
and Talienwan ; the latter was to conform to the Russian 
gauge. [31] The authenticity of these conventions has 
never been admitted, but it is significant that their clauses, 
thus made public in 1896, were all put into effect during 
the next few years. 

§ 14. To carry out the railway clauses of their agree- 
ment Russia, in 1895 chartered the Russo-Chinese Bank, 
the object of which was- to carry out the policy of what 
came to be called " conquest by railways," which was 
afterwards, in 1909, merged in the policy which w r as 
termed " dollar diplomacy." The bank was nominally a 
Russian corporation ; but among its founders were four 
of the principal banks of Paris and many of the leaders of 
the French financial world ; its capital was 11,250,000 
gold roubles, in addition to 5,000,000 taels advanced on 
permanent deposit by the Chinese government. To this 
bank the Chinese government granted a concession for 
railways in Manchuria ; and to build them the bank 
organised, under Russian laws, the Chinese Eastern Rail- 
way Company with a capital of 5,000-,000 roubles. From 

[27] Convention in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc., 1894-1904," p. 2G. 

[28] Summary in North-China Herald, March 6th, 1896. 

[29] English translation of French text in Daily Telegraph (London) 
cited in ibid., March 11th, 1910. 

[30] Ibid., Oct. 9th, 1896. Summary of convention signed on Sept. 
29th, in ibid., Oct. 30th, 1896. 

[31] Conv. of Sept. 29th, 1896, arts. i. to iv. 


this exiguous sum, and from the much larger proceeds of 
bonds taken directly or indirectly by the Russian Trea- 
sury, [32] the Russian railways in Manchuria were built, 
viz. : West to east, Manchuli-Harbin-Suifenho, 950 miles ; 
north to south, Harbin- Talienwan-Port Arthur, 646 miles ; 
making a total, up to 1904, of 1596 miles. By the agree- 
ment China might redeem the lines in thirty-six years, and 
at the ena of eighty years they were to revert to her 
without payment. [33] 

§ 15. Of the railways in Manchuria, those built by the 
Imperial Railways of North China from Shanhaikwan to 
Sinminfu and Yingkow (Newchwang), both before and 
after 1895, were kept from Russian control. To provide 
for their construction there had been advanced by foreign 
banks up to the end of 1897 a total of Tls. 2,440,000 [34] : 


By the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank 1,240,000 
,, Russo-Chinese Bank . . 500,000 

., Deutsch-Asiatische Bank . 700,000 

The first step in the attempt to extend Russian control 
over these lines was a demand for the dismissal of Mr. 
Kinder — as Mr. Pavloff, the Russian envoy, stated, " not 
because he was an Englishman, but because he was not 
a Russian ; for . . . the Russian government intended 
that the provinces of China bordering on the Russian 
frontier must not come under the influence of any nation 
except Russia. "[35] The British envoy protested and 
the demand was withdrawn. On June 7th, 1898, an agree- 
ment was signed between Hu Yen-mei, Director- General 
of the Imperial Railways, and the Hongkong and Shanghai 
Bank, acting for the British and Chinese Corpoiation, for 
" a sterling loan for the equivalent of about sixteen million 
taels " at 5 J per cent., to pay off the bank debts and pro- 
vide for extensions ; the security was to be ! ' the per- 

[32] So demonstrated by Senator Albert J. Beveridge, "The Russian 
Advance," p. 103. 

[33] Agreements in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc." : Charter of Russo- 
Chinese Bank, p. 207 ; concession to bank, p. 212 ; Statutes of Chinese 
Eastern Railway Company, p. 215. 

[34] Laboulaye, " Chemins de Fer," p. 95. 

[35] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 19th, 1897, Corr. resp. 
China, No. 1, 1898, p. 5. 


manent way, rolling stock and entire property, together 
with the freight and earnings of the existing lines . . . and 
also of the proposed new lines. "[36] The Russian envoy 
protested, chiefly on the ground that, in the event of 
default, a British corporation would obtain possession of 
railways in Manchuria, in which the sole right to build 
railways had been conceded to the Russo-Chinese bank. 
A diplomatic battle ensued ; on September 7th Li Hung- 
chang was dismissed from office [37] ; and on October 10th 
a new agreement was signed for a loan of £2,300,000 at 
4 J per cent., at the issue price of 90. The security was 
nominally the same, but it was agreed that, in case of 
default, any deficiency should be made good by the govern- 
ment of China. [38] 

§ 16. China had made some attempts to consolidate 
her control over railway construction. In June, 1895, 
Chang Chih-tung summoned from America Yung Wing, 
the former head of the Chinese educational mission in the 
United States, to come to Hankow to advise him, and 
through him the government, on railway matters. [39] 
In January, 1896, Hu Yu-fen, ex-Judge of Kwangsi, then 
commissary-general to the armies of the Peiyang, was 
appointed director-general of the Tientsin-Peking line. [40] 
In May, 1896, Sheng Hsuan-hwai, then Customs taotai 
at Tientsin, chief director of the China Merchants Steam 
Navigation Co., and director of the imperial Telegraphs, 
was appointed director-in-chief of all railway construc- 
tion [41] ; and in October by imperial decree he was 
specifically charged with the projected Peking-Hankow 
line, [42] which had already been put by Chang Chih-tung 
under his control. [43] In April, 1898, as part of the 
reform movement of that year, an imperial decree estab- 
lished a Bureau of Control for Railways and Mines, and 

[36] Text of agreement in Laboulaye, op. cit., p. 86. 

[37] " Li Hung-chang was one of Mr. Pavloff's principal pieces on the 
chessboard ; few foreigners in China do not believe he is the purchased 
tool of Russia, and many Chinese are of the same opinion." — Editorial, 
North-China Herald, Sept. 12th, 1898. There were however other causes 
bringing about his downfall. Cf. chap, vi, § 15. 

[38] Text of agreement in Laboulaye, op. cit., p. 89. 

[39] North-China Herald, Jan. 10th, 1896. 

[40] Ibid., Jan. 17th, 1896. 

[41] Ibid., May 22nd, 1896. 

[42] Imp. decree of Oct. 20th, 1896, in Laboulaye, op. cit., p. 108. 

[43] North-China Herald, April 9th, 1897. 


placed at its head two ministers of the Tsungli Yamen, 
Wang Wen-shao and Chang Yin-hwan.[44] This bureau 
seriously curtailed the emoluments of many highly placed 
officials, and its chiefs were severely dealt with in the 
reaction from reform. [45] The Bureau of Control was in 
1903 placed under the newly constituted ministry of Com- 
merce, and subsequently under the ministry of Posts and 

§ 17. The Peking-Hankow railway was to have been 
built with Chinese capital and of Chinese material. The 
latter requirement was met by Chang Chih-tung by estab- 
lishing the Hanyang Iron-works, and by opening a coa] 
mine at Pingshan and an iron mine at Tayeh, seventy mile^ 
down the Yangtze from Hankow, where " stands a moun- 
tain of iron ore giving 65 per cent, of pure metal, three 
miles long and 400 feet high, sufficient to turn out 70C 
tons of iron a day for a thousand years.' '[46] The pro- 
vision of capital was found more difficult, and, in October, 
1896, permission was given to obtain a foreign loan.[47] 
Negotiations were opened with the American- China De- 
velopment Company, at the head of which was ex- senator 
W. D. Washburn, and it undertook a rough survey of the 
route ; meantime a Belgian syndicate made counter offers 
which were more attractive ; and the American syndicate, 
cold-shouldered by the Department of State at Washing- 
ton,[48] missed the prize which it counted its own. But 
the way of the Belgians was not smooth. Behind Belgium 
interested eyes, foreign and Chinese, discerned France 
and Russia ; other powers might or might not support the 
American pretensions, [49] but they were all united in 
opposing the Belgian claims. The Belgian negotiations 
were then dropped, but they were renewed in July, 1897, 

[44] Imp. decree of April 2nd, 1898, in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," 
p. 249. 

[45] Cf. chap, vi, § 22. 

[46] Ronaldshay, " Wandering Student in the Far East," i, p. 54. 

[47] Imp. decree of Oct. 20th, 1896, ubi sup. 

[48] Mr. John Sherman to Mr. Denby, March 8th, 1897, U.S. For. 
Rel., 1897, p. 59. 

[49] In an editorial it was stated that there were " other reasons why 
the Chinese would prefer to put the contract in the hands of an American 
syndicate. Each European power has exercised its influence for itself 
first, and the T \iited States second ; and the United States with its own 
vote for first, f d an unanimous vote for second, has carried the contest." — 
North-China Herald, Oct. 23rd, 1896. 


on the expressed condition that " the money is all to come 
from Belgium, none from France or Russia will be ac- 
cepted. "[50] 

§ 18. In September, 1897, Mr. G. Detring took the 
unprecedented step of addressing in his own name a 
memorial to the Tsungli Yamen. In it he advised the 
creation of an imperial Bureau of Railways and Mines, 
such as was actually formed in the following April, to be 
constituted on the model of the foreign customs. In rail- 
way matters he warned the Yamen especially against 
Belgium ; in financing railway construction France would 
be the master hand, with Russia aiding ; their object being 
to reach the heart of the empire (Hankow), France from 
the south, Russia from the north. He gave a final warn- 
ing against Sheng Hsiian-hwai — " employing him is like 
riding the tiger, dangerous to ride, more dangerous to 
dismount"; he controlled everything — railways, mines, 
cotton factories, telegraphs, steamships. [51] It cannot be 
assumed that Mr. Detring addressed this memorial to the 
Tsungli Yamen without the previous knowledge and pro- 
bable support of his patron [52] Li Hung-chang, who was 
then a minister of the Yamen ; and two months later it 
was reported that the negotiations between Sheng Hsiian- 
hwai and the Belgian syndicate had " entirely col- 

§ 19. In April, 1898, simultaneously with the creation 
of the Bureau of Control for Railways and Mines, negotia- 
tions with the Belgians were resumed,[54] and, on June 26th, 
1898, a final contract [55] was signed for a loan and for 
working the line. The loan was for 112,500,000 francs at 
5 per cent, issued at 90, and was to be paid off by twenty 
annual drawings beginning in 1909 ; the syndicate was 
further to operate the line for thirty years from the date 
of the contract, and was to receive therefor 20 per cent, 
of the net profits, after deducting operating expenses and 
interest and amortisation of the loan. The line was com- 

[50] North-China Herald, July 30th, 1897. 
[51] Ibid., Sept. 10th, 1897. 

[52] Cf. " Submission," chap, xiv, § 19 ; chap, xvii, § 15. 
[531 North-China Herald, Nov. 5th, 1897. 
[54] Ibid., April 4th, 1898. 

[55] Text in Laboulaye, " Chemins de Fer," p. 107 ; Rockhill, " Trea- 
ties," etc.," p. 232. 


pleted in 1905, with a total length of 812 miles, including 
branch lines of 58 miles. The rails and iron fittings were 
bought from the Hanyang iron works ; but per contra 
the Chinese government supplied, free of cost to the syndi- 
cate, work valued at Tls. 5,800,000. [56] It was provided 
that China should have the right to pay off the loan at 
any time after September 1st, 1907 ; and this right was 
exercised in October, 1908, by means of a thirty- year loan, 
issued through the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank and the 
Banque de l'lndo-Chine, for £5.000,000 at 5 per cent, for 
fifteen years and 4 J per cent, for the second fifteen years, 
issued at 94 ; and £450,000 at 7 per cent, and par repay- 
able before 1920. 

§ 20. Shantung was claimed by Germany as her sphere 
of development. By a convention signed March 6th, 1898, 
the enclave of Kiacchow was " ceded to Germany on lease, 
provisionally for ninety- nine years " [57] ; and in this 
China " sanctioned the construction by Germany of two 
lines of railway in Shantung." Under this an imperial 
German charter was granted, on June 1st, 1899, to the 
Schantung-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft, with a capital of 
54,000,000 marks, for a railway from Tsingtau to Tsinanfu ; 
the shareholders were to be German or Chinese ; the 
material used was to be German as far as possible ; and 
the German treasury of Kiaochow was to share in the 
profits after 5 per cent, had been paid to the shareholders. 
The company was also, on its application, to have the 
right to build lines from Tsingtau to Ichowfu and from 
Tsinanfu to Ichowfu. [58] This was supplemented by an 
agreement with China, signed March 21st, 1900, for acquir- 
ing the land and for protection of the line. [59] Under 
this charter the line from Tsingtau to Tsinanfu, 245 miles, 
with a branch to the Poshan coal fields, thirty-six miles, 
or 281 miles in all, was completed in 1904 at a cost oi 
52,900,000 marks of German capital. The success of the 
line is seen in the transfer of the trade of Shantung fron 
Chefoo to Tsingtau, as shown by the following values o) 
the total net import and export trade : 

[5fi] Laboulaye, op. cit., p. 105. 

[57} Cf. chap, v, § 9. 

[58] Text (translation) in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," p. 363. 

[59] Text (translation) in Laboulaye, op. cit., p. 174. 







. 38,183,912 (72 per cent.) 

31,641,224 (35 per cent.) 


. 14,598,411 (28 per cent.) 

59,168,880 (65 per cent.) 

§ 21. At the end of 1897, an imperial decree was issued 
authorising Yung Wing to construct a railway Tientsin- 
Tsinanfu-Chinkiang, with liberty to call on foreign capital. 
This was at once opposed by the German envoy, who 
declared that, under the Kiaochow convention, negotia- 
tions for which were then proceeding, Germany alone 
should have the right to build railways in Shantung. [60] 
None the less, in August, 1898, Yung Wing contracted with 
the American syndicate for a loan of £5,500,000 for this 
purpose [61] ; though signed, the contract was not carried 
out, since Germany protested on the ground that her 
rights in Shantung blocked the way. Before this a Ger- 
man syndicate had proposed to lend £4,500,000 for a 
railway to connect Tientsin and the Yangtze, but the 
offer had been rejected ; and the British syndicate was 
reluctant to undertake the line, though it led into the 
Yangtze basin. [62] In the end the British and German 
interests were both recognised, and in May, 1899, an 
agreement, ratified by imperial decree May 24th, was 
signed between the Chinese Railway Bureau on the one 
part, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (acting for the 
British and Chinese Corporation) and the Deutsch- 
Asiatische Bank on the other, for a loan of £7,400,000 at 
5 per cent, to be issued at 90. [63] The Germans had at 
first proposed that the northern section should be built 
by the German syndicate for China, the central section, 
from border to border of Shantung, by a German company 
as in the case of the Tsingtau- Tsinanfu line, and the 
southern section by the British corporation for China ; 
but this agreement provided (art. xviii) that the northern 
part [from Tientsin to the southern border of Shantung] 
should be " constructed, equipped and worked " by the 
Deutsch-Asiatische Bank, and the southern part by the 
British and Chinese Corporation, both for China. 

[60] North-China Herald, Feb. 28th, 1898. 
[61] Corr. resp. China, No. 1, 1898, p. 168. 
[62] Kent, op. cit., p. 150 ; Laboulaye, op. cit., p. 180. 
[63] Text in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," p. 355 ; also in Kent, p. 260 ; 
Laboulaye, p. 187. 


§ 22. This contract was not carried out owing to the 
Boxer troubles of 1900 ; and, when negotiations were 
reopened in 1906, the Chinese government had adopted 
the policy of constructing and working all new lines 
through Chinese directors, while still inviting loans of 
foreign capital. After long discussions a new contract was 
made on January 13th, 1908, with the Deutsch-Asiatische 
Bank, representing German interests, and the Chinese 
Central Railway Company, representing an alliance of 
British and French interests. [64] By this agreement a 
joint loan was made for £5,000,000 at 5 per cent., issued 
at 93, and, by a subsequent contract, a further sum of 
£3,000,000 was loaned in 1910 at 5 per cent, issued at 94*5 ; 
the southern terminus was changed to Pukow, on the 
north bank of the Yangtze opposite to Nanking, to which 
the length of line is 674 miles. The loan was secured 
(art. ix) not on the railway receipts, but on certain specified 
provincial revenues ; and it was provided (art. xvii) that 
" the construction and control of the railway will be 
entirely vested in the imperial Chinese government "... 
and " after completion of construction the imperial Chinese 
government will administer both sections as one un- 
divided government, railway." The policy thus indicated 
became known as " Pukow terms." 

§ 23. France claimed the three provinces bordering on 
Tongking as her sphere of development, and extended 
her claim also to cover Szechwan. In June, 1895, it was 
agreed that " the railways, existing or projected, in Annam 
may be extended into Chinese territory. "[65] Under this 
convention a contract was signed June 5th, 1896, authoris- 
ing the construction of a line from the frontier to Lungchow 
in Kwangsi, with the right, subsequently granted in 1897, 
to extend it to Nanning and Poseh. Surveys demon- 
strated the rugged nature of the country, and investiga- 
tion showed the smallness of the trade, and it became 
evident that this was not the true French line of penetra- 
tion ; so, in 1900, the project was abandoned. Tn June, 
1898, France obtained the right to build a line from Pakhoi 
to the West River, and in December, 1899, the right to 

[64] Te^t in Laboulaye, op. ^jit., p. 195. 

[65] Convention signed at Peking, June 20th, 1895, art. v, Treaties, 
i, p. 725. 


build one from Kwangchowwan to the West River in 
Kwangsi ; neither of these lines was taken in hand. In 
June, 1897, an agreement was made, confirmed in April, 
1898, sanctioning the construction by France of a line 
from the frontier to Yunnanfu, in continuation of a line 
to be constructed in Tongking from Hanoi up the Red River 
to Laokay. A long study of the route was required, the 
Boxer troubles intervened, the deadly Namti valley killed 
the workmen by thousands ; and the line was not opened 
until 1910. The line has a length of 289 miles and cost 
165,000,000 francs ; of this sum 76,000,000 francs were 
provided by a loan guaranteed by the government of 
France, 63,580,000 francs by a subsidy from the govern- 
ment of Tongking, and 25,420,000 francs by the French 
company which undertook the construction and working. 
The effect on the trade of Mengtze is shown by the follow- 
ing figures : 







Imports .... 
Exports .... 

That the effect was not greater must be attributed to the 
protectionist policy adopted by France in Tongking. 

§ 24. The American syndicate of Senator Washburn 
had failed [66] ; but, in view of the territorial aspirations 
of at least four of the European powers which were mani- 
fested in the spring of 1898, there were strong reasons 
for seeking the support of capitalists in the United States, 
which had given no evidence of such aspirations. In 
December, 1897, Sheng Hsuan-hwai memorialised the 
throne, asking for sanction to a line from Hankow to 
Canton, and proposing that, as there were " serious objec- 
tions to allowing England, France or Germany to under- 
take the work," the contract should be placed in America. 
An agreement was signed on April 14th, 1898, between 
Wu Ting-fang, Chinese envoy at Washington, and the 
American China Development Company, at the head of 
which was Senator Calvin Brice.[67] The loan was to be 
for £4,000,000 at 5 per cent., issued to the company at 
90 ; construction was to be done by the company for a 

[66] Cf. antea, §§ 17, 21. 

[67] Text in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," p. 252. 


commission of 5 per cent, on all outgoings except for land 
and earthwork ; and the line was to be worked by the com- 
pany in consideration of receiving debentures equal to 
one-fifth the cost of the line, to secure the payment to it 
of 20 per cent, of the net profits. It was at the same time 
agreed that, if the Belgian syndicate should fail to com- 
plete the Peking-Hankow line, it should be transferred 
to the American company. [68] In April, 1898, war broke 
out between Spain and the United States ; and when the 
survey party, with Mr. Barclay Parsons as engineer- in- 
chief, arrived on the field, the coup d'etat against the 
reformers had begun, and a general feeling of hostility 
against foreign exploitation had sprung up. [69] This 
feeling was strongest in Hunan, through which province 
the line was to run, and the surveys were delayed [70] ; 
but they were carried out in the winter 1899-1900. They 
gave a route 740 miles long, with branches of 100 miles 
(Pingsiarig, 66 ; Yochow, 25 ; Siangtan, 9), making a 
total of 840 miles. The engineering difficulties were found 
to be so considerable that the estimates had to be revised ; 
and, on July 13th, 1900, a supplemental agreement [71] 
was signed increasing the amount of the loan to $40,000,000 
U.S. gold, and (art. iii) it was " declared that this supple- 
mental agreement is to be taken as a mortgage, as is cus- 
tomary in America," the railway itself being " given as 
a first mortgage security " for the bonds. Subject to the 
mortgage, the line was to be Chinese property ; and it 
was provided (art. xvii) that the benefits of the agreement 
were " transmittable by the American company to their 
successors or assigns, but the Americans cannot transfer 
the rights to other nations or the people of other nation- 

§ 25. If the Chinese were anxious that the whole of 
the great medial line Peking-Hankow- Canton should not 
pass under Belgian control, the Belgians, with the other 

[68] Text in Rockhill, "Treaties, etc.," p. 257. 

[69] Cf. chap, v, § 29 ; chap, vii, § 15. 

[70] The author was engaged through 1899, in connexion with the 
opening of Yochow, in preparing Hunan for the inevitable development 
of their province, and in convincing the Hunanese of the advantage to 
themselves. In that year Hunan definitely abandoned its anti-foreign 
hostility. Cf. " Yochow," Shanghai, Stat. Dept. of the I.G, of Customs, 
1900 ; postea, chap, vii, §§ 2, 3. 

[71] Text in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," p. 259. 


interests in the background, were no less anxious to obtain 
that control. In J 899 diplomacy became active, and the 
Chinese became timid and gave small support to the 
contract ; but ultimately the Americans carried the day 
and the supplemental agreement was signed. Then 
further difficulties arose. China was thrown into con- 
fusion by the Boxer troubles ; the English money market 
was closed through the South African war ; and the death 
of Mr. Calvin Brice made American capitalists reluctant 
to venture in an undertaking which was now deprived 
of his support. This was the Belgians' opportunity, and, 
r ith no flourish of trumpets, they acquired a majority of 
the shares in the American China Development Company : 
and, at the end of 1903, they elected their nominee, General 
Whittier, as its president. China protested, basing her 
protest on art. xvii of the supplemental agreement, which 
expressly forbade such a transfer of control ; but the 
American government stood on the legal aspects of the 
question and held that the company was still t; in good 
faith an American company. "[72] China, indignant at 
this breach of the agreement and her back stiffened by the 
successive defeats of Russia, the strongest supporter of 
the Belgian claims, then formally notified that she can- 
celled the contract. [73] The Secretary of State protested ; 
and in a few days was able to announce that " the Ameri- 
can proprietors . . . have regained control of the complete 
ownership of a clear bona- fide majority of the entire stock 
. . . the control of which, as a matter of fact, had never 
entirely passed out of their hands. "[74] This did not 
settle matters, chiefly " because of the strong opposition of 
the gentry of Kwangtung, Hunan and Hupeh " [75] ; and 
the difficulty of financing the undertaking continued. It 
was then agreed cc to sell the concession and the railroad 
to the Chinese government for $6,750,000 [U.S. 
gold] " [76] ; this was accepted by both govern- 

[72] Mr. John Hay to Liang Cheng, May 11th, 1904, in Rockhill, 
" Treaties, etc.," p. 278. 

[73] Liang Cheng to Mr. John Hay, Dee. 22nd, 1004, U.S. For. Rel., 
1905, p. 124. 

[74] Mr. Hay to Liang Cheng, Jan.. 6th, 1905, ibid., p. 128. 

[75] Mr. Coolidge, charge d'affaires, to Mr. Hav, Jan. 25th, 1905, 
ibid., p. 129. 

[76] Mr. Loomis, acting Sec. State, to Mr. Rockhill, envoy at Peking, 
June 8th, 1905, ibid., p. 132. 


ments,[77J and, in part provision of the sum, the Chinese 
borrowed £1,100,000 at 4j per cent, from the Hongkong 
colonial government. The southern section, within the 
province of Kwangtung, has since then been " in course of 
construction " by the Chinese of Canton ; and the northern 
section was in 1911 entrusted to the Four-power Group. 

§ 26. Of the military nations Russia had successfully 
asserted her sole right of railway development in Man- 
churia, Germany in Shantung, and France in the three 
southern provinces, and the right in each case to exclude 
other nations had been maintained ; and Japan had put 
forward a similar claim for Fukien. Of the commercial 
nations America had obtained one contract which she 
had been unable to carry out, and English capital was to 
obtain other concession- ; but both America and England 
made it their principal task to maintain the " open door," 
with the difference that America asserted that it applied 
to the whole empire, while England admitted other prior 
rights in Manchuria and in the Chinese provinces of 
Shantung, Fukien, Kwangtung (as to its western part), 
Kwangsi and Yunnan. The series of declarations of non- 
alienation is referred to elsewhere. [78] The struggle over 
the railway eastward from Shanhaikwan [79] had shown 
the necessity of coming to some agreement between Eng- 
land and Russia, and, in April, 1899, it was arranged that 
England would not seek railway concessions north of the 
Great Wall of China, nor obstruct Russian claims there, 
and that Russia would not seek railway concessions in the 
basin of the Yangtze, nor obstruct British claims there ; 
it was further agreed that the Shanhaikwan railway with 
its direct extensions was a Chinese line and could not be 
mortgaged or alienated to a non-Chinese company. [80] 
This was a case of " give and take." A year earlier, when 
in the seizure of naval stations Weihaiwei was taken by 
England, the British government spontaneously made the 
declaration that • • England formally declares to Germany 
that, in establishing herself at Weihaiwei, she has no 

[ 7] Liang Cheng to Mr. Loomis, Aug. 21st; Mr. Loomis to Liang 
Cheng, Aug. 29th, 1905 ; ibid., p. 134. 

[78] Cf. chap, v, § 24. 

[79] Cf. antea, § 15. 

[80] Notes exchanged, April 28th, 1899, between Sir C. Scott and 
Count Mouravieff, in Rockhill, lt Treaties, etc.," p. 183. 


intention of injuring or contesting the rights and interests 
of Germany in the province of Shantung. ... It is 
specially understood that England will not construct any 
railroad communication from Weihaiwei . . . into the in- 
terior of the province of Shantung. "[81] Before this 
again, while the negotiations for the Kiaochow convention 
were going on, Lord Salisbury had declared that " the 
British government demands equality of treatment for 
British engineers in Shantung " ; and that " any con- 
cession to Germany of exclusive privilege will meet with 
opposition on our part. "[82] 

§ 27. Free-trade England was thus led by one grace- 
ful concession after another to admit the utmost preten- 
sions of other powers which asserted protectionist principles 
in their respective spheres of development, and was left 
with the privilege of competing, on free-trade lines, with 
all except Russia in railway development in the Yangtze 
basin. There the first British contract was obtained by 
the British and Chinese Corporation for a railway from 
Shanghai by Soochow and Chinkiang to Nanking. The 
preliminary agreement was signed May 13th, 1898, but 
its execution was delayed, first by the South African war, 
and then by the Boxer revolt ; after the restoration of 
quiet the final agreement was signed July 9th, 1903. [83] 
By this a fifty-year loan was authorised for £3,250,000 at 
5 per cent., to be issued to the corporation at 90, but the 
second issue of £650,000 was actually at 95|.[84] The 
construction and operation were to be in the hands of a 
board of five commissioners — two Chinese, two English, 
and the (English) Engineer-in-chief. The line and its 
plant were to be security for the loan ; and the corpora- 
tion was to pay Tls. 1,000,000 (£125,000) for the line 
Shanghai-Wusing, which had been built by the Chinese. 
The line, 210 miles in length, was completed in 1908, and 
since that time the control has been vested in the president 
of the commission, a Chinese.[85] In August, 1898, as 

[81] Reichs-Anzeiger. Berlin, April 22nd, 1898, in ibid., p. 180-; China, 
No. 1, 1889, p. 27. 

[82] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, Dec. 8th, 15th, 1897, China. 
No. 1, 1898, pp. 3, 7. 

[83] Texts in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," pp. 281 seq. 

[84] Kent, " Railway Enterprise," p. 136. 

[85] Laboulaye, " Chemins de Fer," p. 234. 


compensation for " what was regarded as the Chinese 
government's breach of faith in the Peking-Hankow affair," 
the same corporation obtained concessions for, a railway 
Soochow-Hangchow-Ningpo, and for one Pukow-Sinyang- 
chow (this point tapping the Peking-Hankow line). Owing 
to provincial opposition the execution of these works was 
not entrusted to the corporation, but, in 1908, it under- 
took a loan of £1,500,000 at 5 per cent, for the former ; 
the latter has been shelved. 

§ 28. The province of Shansi is one of the richest coal 
fields in the world, and it has besides large deposits of 
iron ore. In 1896 Commendatore Angelo Luzatti made 
a study of this field, and in 1897 he promoted the forma- 
tion of a syndicate to work it, called the Peking Syndi- 
cate, Anglo-Italian in its composition, but English in its 
capital. On May 21st, 1898, an agreement was made with 
the Shansi Bureau of Trade, [86] giving the syndicate the 
" sole right to open and work coal and iron mines and 
petroleum wells in the districts of Yiihien and Pingting- 
chow, and the prefectures of Luanfu, Tsechowfu and 
Pingwangfu " for sixty years; the royalty was to be 
5 per cent, of gross receipts, then 6 per cent, was to be 
paid on capital, then 10 per cent, of net profits to sinking 
fund, and from the remaining net profit 25 per cent, was 
to be paid to the Chinese government and 75 per cent, 
to the syndicate. It was further agreed (art. xvii) that 
the syndicate, tk using its own capital," might ' make 
roads, build bridges, open or deepen rivers or canals, or 
construct branch railways to connect with main lines or 
with water navigation," to carry its coal and iron. On 
June 21st, 1898, a similar agreement was made with a 
concessionnaire of the governor of Honan according the 
same mining and railway rights in " Hwaikingfu and in 
all the hill country in Honan province north of the Yellow 
River. "[87] These agreements were covered by the 
sanction of an imperial decree of May 17th, 1898 [88] ; 
and each allowed the use of foreign capital to the extent 
of Tls. 10,000,000. The syndicate, with a subscribed 
capital of £1,520,000, then proceeded to develop mines and 

[86] Text in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," p. 305. 

[87] Ibid., p. 320. 

[88] Cited in art. i of Taokow-Tsinghwa railway loan agreement, infra. 


to construct to them a railway starting from Taokow, at 
the head of barge navigation on the Wei River. The Boxer 
revolt delayed the work, but it was resumed in 1902, and 
in 1905 the railway was completed to (Pashan) Tsinghwa, 
a length of ninety miles. The Chinese then decided to 
buy out the rights of the syndicate in the railway, and 
signed two agreements on July 3rd, 1905. By them the 
syndicate made a thirty-year loan for £700,000 at 5 per 
cent, issued at 90, and sold the railway for £614,600 cash ; 
the line itself was the security, and it was to be worked 
bjr the syndicate during the currency of the loan. [89] It 
is the intention of the government to extend the line 
thirty-five miles further, to Tsechow in Shansi. 

§ 29. Other lines were also taken in hand, of which 
it need only be said that each represented some diplomatic 
pressure on the Chinese government. 

(a) The Chengtingfu-Taiyuenfu Railway, connecting 
the capital of Shansi with a station on the Peking-Hankow 
line. For this an agreement was made with the Russo- 
Chinese Bank in 1898, supplemented by a definite contract 
in 1902,[90J for a thirty-year loan for 40,000,000 francs 
at 5 per cent., issued at 90, guaranteed by the imperial 
government and secured by the traffic receipts. The 
contract was later transferred to a French syndicate. The 
line, of one metre gauge, is 151 miles long and was com- 
pleted in 1907. 

(b) The Kaifengfu-Honanfu-Sianfu Railway, parallel 
to the Yellow River. In 1899 an agreement was signed 
with a Franco-Belgian syndicate, La Compagnie Generale 
des Chemins de Fer et Tramways en Chine, followed by a 
final contract in 1903, for the section Kaifengfu-Honanfu, 
115 miles. [91] The contract of 1903 provided for a loan 
of 25,000,000 francs, to which a later agreement of 1907 
added 16,000,000 francs, at 5 per cent., issued at 90. 
This section was completed in 1909. 

(c) Railway communication between Hongkong and 
Canton is solely a British interest, and that portion of the 
line, twenty-eight miles, which is within the limits of the 
colonial territory is, for. financing and construction, a 

[89] Texts in Kent, " Railway Enterprise," pp. 235 seq. 
[90] Texts in Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," pp. 309 seq. ; Laboulaye, 
" Chemins de Fer," p. 124. 

[91] Texts in Rockhill, p. 389 ; Laboulaye, p. 154. 

Ill— 7 


British affair. The line from the frontier to Canton, 
eighty-five miles in length, was taken in hand by the 
Chinese of Canton. On March 7th, 1907, a contract [92] 
was made with the British and Chinese Corporation for a 
thirty-year loan for £1,500,000 at 5 per cent., issued at 94, 
secured on the railway and guaranteed by the Chinese 
government. The working was to be under a board con- 
sisting of " a Chinese managing director, with whom will 
be associated a British engineer-in- chief and a British chief 

Other smaller lines have been taken in hand by the 
Chinese themselves, and in general without foreign financial 
aid or government guarantee ; but their length is not 

§ 30. The Russo-Japanese war resulted in the transfer 
to Japan of a great part of the Russian interest in Manchu- 
rian railways. Russia retained the whole of the main 
Transiberian line from Manchuli to Suifenho, 950 miles ; 
of the north and south line from Harbin to Talienwan 
(Dalny, Dairen) she kept the northern section to Kwan- 
cliengtze, 132 miles, but the lines south of that point, 514 
miles, went to Japan. In addition it was agreed with 
China in 1905 that Japan, providing the funds herself, 
might build a line from Mukden to Antung on the Korean 
frontier, a length of 189 miles ; also one from Sinminfu to 
Mukden, forty-eight miles, and one from Kwanchengtze 
to Kirin, seventy- five miles; for the two latter half the 
cost was to be provided by China, and half lent by Japan/ 93 J 
Japan has lent to China at 5 per cent. £33,300 for the Sin- 
minting-Mukden line, and £225,000 for the Kwanchengtze- 
Kirin line ; for her other lines in Manchuria she organised 
in 1906 the South Manchuria Railway Company with 
capital of 200,000,000 yen (£20,000,000),[94] of which half 
was provided by the Japanese government, and £4,000,000 
by a 5 percent, thirty-five-year loan issued in London in 1906. 

§ 31. Szechwan was a subject of rivalry between 
England and France. ; the latter hoped to tap its trade from 
Tongking, the former from Burma, by railways through 
Yunnan ; and England would benefit by a continuance 

[92] Text in Kent, p. 287 ; Laboulaye, p. 288. 

[93] Summary of protocol, Dec. 22nd, 1905; agreement, April 15th, 
1907 ; in Laboulaye, pp. 69, 73. 

[94] Articles of Incorporation in Laboulaye, p. 52. 


of traffic along the course of the Yangtze. In 1905 an 
Anglo-French syndicate, the Chinese Central Railways 
Company, [95] was formed to undertake railways in the 
Yangtze basin ; and the American financial interests were 
invited to co-operate, but were not then inclined to accede. 
In 1909 the German syndicate obtained a strong position 
by diplomatic influence at Peking, and it was admitted to 
form a tripartite group ; and in the same year an American 
group demanded to be allowed to share. In May, 1910, 
an agreement was made in conference at Paris for dividing 
the Hukwang railways, including the Hankow-Szechwan 
line and the northern portion of the Hankow-Canton line, 
equally between the members of the " Four-power Group," 
viz. : for England, the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank ; 
for Gerniany, the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank ; for France, 
the Banque de PIndo-Chine ; and The American Group 
(composed of Messrs. J. P. Morgan & Co., Messrs. Kuhn, 
Loeb & Co., the First National Bank, and the National City 
Bank, all of New York). It may here be said that the 
Four-power Group asserted, in the interest of China, its 
sole right to provide all loans for the purposes of the 
government of China, and that, for this function, it became 
the Six-power Group by the adhesion, on their demand, 
of Russia and Japan; and that, in March, 1913, on the 
inauguration of President Wilson, it became the Five- 
power Group by the withdrawal of official support from the 
4 dollar diplomacy " of the American group. 

§ 32. On May 20th, 1911, the Four-power Group 
signed with the imperial minister of Posts and Communica- 
tions, Sheng Hsiian-hwai, a contract for the Hukwang 
railways. [96] It provided for a present loan of £6,000,000 
at 5 per cent., and (art. xv) a later loan of £4,000,000, re- 
payable in forty years, secured on the traffic receipts and 
(art. ix) on certain salt and likin taxes of the Hukwang 
provinces (Hupeh and Hunan), and (art. iv) guaranteed 
by the Chinese government. The present issue was 
designed to provide capital : 

1°. For the redemption of $2,222,000 U.S. gold of bonds issued 
by the American China Development Company on behalf of the 
Chinese government. 

[95] Cf. antea, § 22. [96] Text in Laboulaye, p. 210. 


2°. For the construction of the Hupeh-Hunan section of the 
Hankow-Canton railway, an estimated length of 900 kilometres 
(559 miles). 

3°. For the construction of a line Kwangshui-Siangyangfu-King- 
menchow-Ichang, an estimated distance of 600 kilometres (373 
miles), and of a line Ichang-Kweichowfu, an estimated distance of 
300 kilometres (186 miles). 

The "construction and control" of the lines were 
(art. xvii) to be " entirely and exclusively vested in the 
Chinese government " ; for the construction the Chinese 
were to appoint an English engineer for the section Hankow- 
Ichanghien on the southern border of Hunan, a German 
engineer for that Kwangshui-Ichang, and an American 
engineer for that Ichang-Kweichowfu ; and, as far as 
possible, Chinese material was to be used. The four 
banks were (art. xxii) to " take the loan in equal shares and 
without responsibility for each other." An additional 
section of railway, Hankow-Kingmenchow, did not come 
under this contract, but was entrusted to a Chinese 
company employing Chinese capital. Extension into 
Szechwan was left to be the subject of further agreement. 
A table of the railways on Chinese territory is given in 
Appendix B. 


1. China shifts her diplomatic base .... 

2. Li Hung-chang's mission to the Western powers, 1896 

3. Avowed objects of the embassy .... 

4. Secret agreement with Russia .... 

5. Russia dominates Korea, then withdraws, 1896-97 . 

6. Murder of German missionaries in Shantung, Nov. 1, 1897 105 

7. Kiaochow occupied, Nov. 14 ; reparation demanded 

8. Bellicose and spectacular attitude of Germany 

9. Kiaochow Bay ceded on lease ; privileges in Shantung 

10. Tsingtau declared a freihafen, under Chinese customs 

11. Opinions on Germany's conduct .... 

12. Russia obtains cession of Port Arthur and Talienwan 

March 27, 1898 

13. France obtains cession of Kwangchow-wan, April 11 

14. England's strong protest against German demands 1 . 

15. British opposition .withdrawn 

16. England proposes loan £12,000,000 to China, Jan. 8, 1898 114 

17. French and Russian objections to loan 

18. Russia protests against British ships at Port Arthur 

19. China coerced into refusing government loan, Feb. 3 

20. England cannot prevent cession of Port Arthur 

21. England obtains cession of Weihaiwei . 

22. Self-denying assurance given to Germany 

23. England obtains extension of territory, Hongkong 

24. Declarations of non-alienation of territory 

25. Limitations on these declarations . 

26. Declarations for control of Customs and Posts . 

27. Extension of foreign settlements at Shanghai . 

28. Compensating gains by England . 

29. Italy demands cession of Sanmen Bay, 1899 ; rejected 

30. American dismay at exclusion from developing China 

31. Mr. John Hay asserts policy of open door for trade, 1899 

32. Abasement of China not yet complete . 








I 4- — 


§ 1. The war with Japan left China beaten to her knees 
at every point — " the Chinese bubble had burst " [1] — 

[11 Editorial, North-China Herald, Jan. 3rd, 1896. 



while Japan had asserted her right to a place with the great 
European powers. And yet the Chinese rulers had learned 
no lesson from the defeat, and their subsequent action 
indicated only two lines of policy : first, that they must 
provide a large sum to pay the indemnity imposed on the 
empire ; second, that they must reconsider their diplo- 
matic relations with Western nations, and must lean more 
on the intervening powers — Russia, France and Germany. 
There was no plan for re-organisation, none for developing 
the internal resources of the country, none to enable the 
empire to stand on its own feet ; but it was still held to be 
the duty of the Western powers to save China from the 
consequences of her own weakness, and, the commercial 
nations having failed her, that duty must now devolve on 
the military powers. 

§ 2. For the ceremonial coronation of Nicholas II at 
Moscow on June 2nd (N.S.), 1896, China, was requested to 
send a prince of the imperial blood to represent her, but, 
instead, Li Hung-chang was commissioned as special envoy 
and ambassador extraordinary to the Tsar. The nomina- 
tion of China's leading statesman and strongest adminis- 
trator was readily accepted by Russia, and he left Peking 
on March 8th, accompanied by Li Ching-fang, Lo Feng-loh, 
Ma Kien-chung, and a numerous suite. He was also to 
visit other capitals, and certain commissioners of customs, 
appointed councillors of embassy ad hoc, were to act as 
his advisers — Mr. Victor von Grot in Russia, Mr. G. Detring 
in Germany, Mr. A. M. de Bernieres in France, Mr. James H. 
Hart in England, and Mr. E. B. Drew in the United States. 
The ambassador, leaving Shanghai on a French steamer 
of the Messageries Maritimes, did not land at Hongkong, 
alleging as his reason his age and infirmities, his wish to 
avoid festivities and the, otherwise numerous, visits of the 
Kwangtung officials, and his anxiety to escape quarantine 
at Singapore, Hongkong being infected with bubonic 
plague. [2] At Saigon he landed and was given a " brilliant 
reception " [3] by the French authorities ; and he was 
suitably received at Singapore. A Russian Volunteer 
cruiser carried him from Port Said to Odessa, where he 

[2] Hongkong tel. in ibid., April 2nd, 1896. 

[3] The quoted epithets are those given in Renter 1 s telegrams reproduced 
in the North-China Herald. 


arrived on April 27th and was given an " imposing recep- 
tion." He remained in Russia until ^after the coronation 
on June 2nd. Thence he proceeded to Berlin (June 14th), 
where he had an u imposing reception " ; The Hague 
(July 5th) ; Paris (July 13th), where he had an " enthusi- 
astic welcome " ; London (August 3rd), where he had a 
" simple reception." Thence he went to Washington, 
arriving at New York August 28th, his relations with the 
American people being characterised by impertinent 
curiosity on the part of the ambassador, and a mixture of 
respectful interest and jocose badinage from the newspaper 
reporters and prominent people whom he met. He returned 
to China from Vancouver across the Pacific. 

§ 3. One supposed object of this mission was indicated 
by the press reports from one capital after another that 
" officials and manufacturers felt great disappointment 
that his Excellency placed no orders, either for armaments 
or for railways." Its avowed purpose was expressed in 
the ambassador's instructions : 

" 1°. To represent the Chinese emperor at the coronation of 
the Tsar. 

" 2°. To return official thanks to Russia, Germany and France 
for their intervention leading to the retrocession of Liaotung. 

" 3°. To deliver complimentary letters to Queen Victoria and 
the President of the United States. 

" 4°. To sound the Western powers on a revision of the customs 

Of these the only important object was the last. China 
had no power to modify her tariff without the assent of 
every one, even the smallest, of the treaty powers. It had 
been settled in 1858 with specific duties fixed on the basis 
of a 5 per cent, levy on the values of that period , in the 
interval the scale of values had changed, and, through the 
operation of the fall in the value of silver, [5] the treasury, 
instead of five, was now receiving on many important 
commodities no more than 2 or 3 per cent. China proposed, 
as a modus Vivendi, to collect at the rates of 1858, but in 
gold instead of silver. [6] Russia assented ; Germany was 

[4] Communication in London Daily News, Aug. 24th, 1896, generally 
believed to have emanated from Mr. Detring. 

[5] Cf. " Submission," chap, xix, §§ 18, 19. 

[6] " The silver vs. sterling confidential memorandum now sent must 
be printed with all possible expedition to go with Li." — R. Hart to H. 
Kopsch, March 19th, 1896. 


not unwilling, but would wait on England's decision ; 
France left the deeision to her envoy at Peking [7] ; 
England was sympathetic, and M will only ask what is 
beneficial to China herself. "[8 J The American govern- 
ment accepted in principle the proposals for improving 
the Chinese revenue. Notwithstanding this general 
assent, absolute or qualified, no action followed and the 
customs tariff remained unchanged. 

§ 4. The real purpose of the mission was not avowed 
at the time, nor has it ever been acknowledged. Russian 
influence was paramount at Peking,[9] and, in recognising 
this, China instructed her ambassador to make the best 
terms he could. The terms imposed were sufficiently 
hard ; they were first published in the spring of 1896, [10] 
and again six months later [11] ; their authenticity was 
disputed, but two years later, when most of the published 
articles had been carried into effect, the newspaper which 
published them felt justified in reminding its readers that, 
in effect, " we told you so. "[12] The agreements then 
made in Peking and in Moscow, besides the railway 
clauses, [13] provided that Russians and Chinese should 
have equal rights in mining in Manchuria ; that Russian 
officers should organise and drill the Chinese army ; and 
then followed : 

" 9°. In order to give Russia an ice-free port, China leased 
Kiaochow to Russia for fifteen years, but occupation was to be 
deferred for the present. 

" 10°. China was to provide Lushunkow [Port Arthur] and 
Talienwan with adequate fortifications, and Russia was to assist 
and would guarantee their retention. 

" 11°. China was to retain control of these i/wo ports until a war 
emergency required otherwise. 

" 12°.' Articles 9°. to 11°. were to be kept secret." 

§ 5. While Russia was thus consolidating her pre- 
dominant influence in China, and more especially in Man- 

[7] This meant, inter alia, that the export duty on raw silk must not 
be increased. 

[8] Mr. Detring's communication, ubi sup. 

[9] Peking tel. in North-China Herald, March 13th, 1896. 

[10] Ibid., March 6th, 1896. 

til] Ibid., Oct. 30th, 1896. 

(12] Ibid., March 28th, 1898. 

[I3J Cf. chap, iv, §§ 12-15, 


churia, she was at the same time reaching out to establish 
her hold on Korea [14] ; and during the next two years, 
during 1896 and 1897, by a mixture of diplomacy and the 
overshadowing threat of force, she acquired a position of 
paramount influence in the kingdom, the independence 
of which had so recently been declared. Mr. John McLeavy 
Brown, of the Chinese customs service, had retained his 
post, as financial adviser to the king of Korea and head of 
the Korean customs, through the war and after independ- 
ence ; but, at the end of 1897, he was summarily dismissed 
and was replaced in both capacities by a Russian, Mr. 
Alexeieff.[15] This was symptomatic of numerous far- 
reaching changes in all branches of the administration — 
" We see an Englishman ejected from the Finance Depart- 
ment to make room for a Russian, the Korean army 
officered by Russians, the arsenal in charge of a Russian 
officer, Russians made commissioners of customs and 
acting at the same time as Russian vice-consuls, and a 
pro-Russian Korean as Foreign Minister. "[16] Russia had 
attained her aim and had apparently ousted Japan from 
the control of Korean affairs ; but she had shot her bolt 
too late. England was too much interested in the ques- 
tions of Kiaochow and Port Arthur to intervene, and, 
beyond a formal protest by the British envoy to the 
courts of Peking and Seoul, she took no direct action ; 
America had no interest in the matter ; and France and 
Germany were Russia's good friends. But by this time 
Russia was more concerned to maintain her position in 
China, and, to avoid a dispersion of her efforts, she withdrew 
from the position she had assumed in Korea and recalled 
all her officers. [17] Mr. McLeavy Brown then reassumed 
his former functions. On April 25th, 1898, an agreement 
was signed at Tokyo by which Russia explicitly recognised 
Japan's commercial interest in Korea. [18] 

§ 6. Compensation for the retrocession of Liaotung 
was obviously due by China to all the three intervening 

[14] Cf. North-China Herald, April 2nd, 1890. 

[15] Ibid., Jan. 7th, 1898. 

[16] Ibid., Feb. 7th, 1898. 

[17] Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs to Mr. Speyer (Russian envoy), 
March 7th ; Mr. Speyer to Korean Minister, March 17th ; in Seoul Inde- 
pendent, March 19th, cited in North-China Herald, April 11th, 1898. 

[18] Text in Rockhill, M Treaties, etc.," p. 433. 


powers ; the first of them to obtain this compensation was 
Germany. That country had, in the spring of 1897, 
informed Russia, Austria and Italy of her intention to 
acquire a naval station in China [19] ; and during the 
following summer and autumn her ships of war were con- 
stantly reported to be surveying along the coasts of Fukien, 
Chekiang and Shantung. [20] At length the desired " oppor- 
tunity and pretext " [21] was found. On November 1st, 
1897, two German missionaries of a Roman Catholic 
mission, Franz Nies and Richard Heule, were murdered 
at the village of Kiachwang, Kuyeh-hien, Tsaochow-fu, 
in the south-western corner of Shantung. The murder 
had been committed by robbers, who plundered the whole 
village ; the Chinese authorities acted promptly, and the 
provincial Judge hastened to the scene of the crime to 
execute justice. [22] The previous year, 1896, had been 
characterised by many outrages and murders committed 
on foreign missionaries. [23] In June, 1897, there had 
been much apprehension of disturbances at Tientsin and 
a revival of the kidnapping rumours of 1870 ; the occasion 
was the approaching dedication, on June 21st, of the new 
French cathedral replacing that destroyed on June 21st, 
1870, the reconstruction having been pushed by the French 
envoy, M. Gerard, because of his "desire to reassert French 
prestige. "[24] The foreign missionaries sorely needed 
protection, and even the American government had 
informed China in 1896 that it was " seriously considering 
the question of devising means for the further and more 
perfect prevention of these lamentable outrages against 
missionaries. "[25] 

§ 7. Under these circumstances we may credit Germany 
with the intention of demonstrating to China and to other 
Western powers the manner in which a strong military 
power intervenes to protect its subjects engaged in a lawful 
calling in foreign parts ; but the measures adopted went far 
beyond this intention. Germany was prepared for action, 

[19] Berlin correspondent, London Standard, Nov. 24th, 1897. 

[20] China newspapers, passim. 

[21] Cf. " Submission," chap, xvii, §§ 3, 5. 

[22] Tel. Tsinanfu, Nov. 10th, in North-China Herald, Nov. 19th, 1897. 

[23] Cf. chap, ii, § 36. 

[24] Tientsin correspondent in North-China Herald, June 25th, 1897. 

[25] Cf. chap, ii, § 36. 


and she acted promptly. On November 14th, thirteen 
days after the murder, four days after it became known, 
a small German force expelled the Chinese garrison at 
Tsingtau, the port at the mouth of Kiaochow Bay, seized 
the forts and occupied the port. The humiliation of 
China was complete,[26] and her helplessness was no less 
manifest ; and Germany grasped her opportunity. For a 
long time Germany had been soliciting from China the grant 
of a naval station, and at once an inspired agitation began 
in the German press, urging on the government the per- 
manent occupation of Kiaochow Bay. [27] The govern- 
ment showed no reluctance, and on November 22nd pre- 
sented its demands as follows [28] : 

" 1°. Aii imperial tablet to be erected to the memory of the mur- 
dered German priests. 

" 2°. An indemnity to be paid to their families (ultimately fixed 
at Tls. 3000 for each missionary and Tls. 66,000 for each of three 
chapels to be rebuilt). 

" 3°. Li Ping-heng (retiring governor of Shantung, viceroy- 
designate o£ Szeohwan) to be cashiered and dismissed from the 
public service. 

" 4°. Repayment of the exjjenses incurred in the occupation of 

" 5°. Germans to have sole right to construct railways and open 
coal mines in Shantung. 

" 6°. Germany to be granted a naval station at Kiaochow." 

§ 8. The Chinese ministers were "much perturbed " [29 J 
by the seizure of the Tsingtau forts, but they presented a 
bold diplomatic front. Demands 1°. and 2°. were accepted ; 
they demurred at 3°., but an imperial decree forbade Li 
Ping-heng to leave his post in Shantung until the case of 
the murdered missionaries was settled ; 4°, 5° and 6° were 
rejected. The German government stood firm. In open- 
ing the Reichstag on December 1st the German emperor 

[26] " Humiliating to China as was her easy conquest by the previ- 
ously despised Japanese, her present situation is infinitely more humiliat- 
ing. A foreign power with three ships and 600 men finds no difficulty in 
effecting a descent on a country of three hundred millions . . . and 
establishes herself without opposition within 350 miles of the capital." — 
Edit. North-China Herald, Dec. 3rd, 1897. 

[27] Tel. London, Nov. 17th, in ibid., Nov. 19th, 1897. 

[28] Tel. Peking, Nov 29th, in ibid., Dec. 3rd, 189 7 ; Sir C. MacDonald 
to Lord Salisbury, Nov 22nd, 1897, China, No. 1, 1898, p. 2. 

[29] Tel. Peking, Nov. 20tb, in ibid., Nov. 26th, 1897. 


declared that the German navy was inadequate ; that 
Germany had no desire to compete with other powers, 
but her fleet must be such as would maintain the prestige 
of the empire abroad ; and a navy bill was introduced on 
December 5th. At once reinforcements of ships, men and 
field guns were sent out under the command of the emperor's 
brother, Admiral Prince Heinrich of Prussia. The keynote 
of the German spirit was given on December 18th at a 
banquet at Hamburg in honour of the admiral on his 
departure. In his speech the emperor said : 

"I am conscious that it is my duty to extend and enlarge what 
my predecessors have bequeathed to me. . . . May every one in 
those distant regions be aware that the German Michael has firmly 
planted his shield with the device of the German eagle upon the soil 
of China, in order once for all to give his protection to all who ask 
for it. . . . Should any one essay to detract from our just rights or 
to injure us, then up and at him with your mailed fist." 

The admiral in his reply maintained the same tone : 

" Most august emperor, most mighty king and lord, illustrious 
brother ... of one thing I may assure your Majesty, neither fame 
nor laurels have charms for me. One thing is the aim that draws 
mo on, it is to declare in foreign lands the gospel of your Majesty's 
hallowed person, to preach it to every one who will hear it, and also 
to those who will not hear it. . . . Let the cry resound far over the 
world, most august, most mighty, beloved emperor, king and lord, 
for ever and ever." [301 

§ 9. China had learned to count on the jealousies of 
the Western powers to enable her to extricate herself from 
unwelcome demands by one of them. During this crisis 
Russia, though she had claims on Kiaochow, had other 
objects in view ; France had her Dreyfus case, apd (in the 
following September) was to have her Fashoda affair, and 
was besides committed to support of the German demand ; 
England was beginning to hear the first mutterings of the 
storm in South Africa ; America was already concerned 
over Cuba ; and China, which, in the two years given her, 
had done nothing to reform her administration or to 
reorganise her forces, was left to meet the threatened 
onslaught alone. Confronted by German firmness she 
yielded early in January one point after another, and the 

[30] Text from London Spectator, Dec. 26th, 1897. 


final act was on March 6th, 1898, when a convention was 
signed at Peking, [31] by which China granted the last of 
the German demands. By this China ceded to Germany, 
" by way of lease, provisionally for ninety-nine years " 
(pachtweise, vorlaufig [32] auf 99 Jahre), the land on both 
sides of the entrance to Kiaochow Bay, including Tsingtau 
and all the islands, together with the water area of the 
bay ; within a line drawn at a distance of fifty kilometres 
from the shores of the bay the territory, while the sove- 
reignty was reserved to China, was to be open to the free 
passage of German troops, and its government was to be 
subject to the approval of the German authorities ; the 
working of the Chinese customs in the fifty-kilometre zone 
was to be safeguarded ; and " should Germany at some 
future time express the wish to return Kiaochow Bay to 
China before the expiration of the lease, China engages 
to refund to Germany the expenditure she has incurred at 
Kiaochow and to cede to Germany a more suitable place ; 
Germany binds herself never to sublet to another power 
the territory leased from China." Railway and mining 
concessions in Shantung were granted to Germany [33] ; 
and " the Chinese government binds itself, in all cases 
where foreign assistance, in persons, capital or material, 
may be needed for any purpose whatever within the 
province of Shantung, to offer the work and supply of 
materials in question in the first instance to German 
manufacturers and merchants engaged in similar under- 

§ 10. In one respect the German authorities showed 
their wisdom. In order to conciliate Western opinion 
they declared their intention of making Tsingtau. a free 
depot (Freihafen), though this was qualified by the state- 
ment of the Chancellor in the Reichstag on February 8th 
that, " while the creation of a free depot at Kiaochow 
[Tsingtau] [34] will best serve Germany's interests, yet I 
should not bind myself beforehand, especially not with 

[31] Treaties, ii, p. 944 ; Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," p. 45. 

[32] The Chinese text has a character meaning " in the first instance." 

[33] Cf. chap, iv, §§ 20-22. 

[34] The Chinese city of Kiaochow, situated inland from the head of 
the bay, within the fifty-kilometre neutral zone, remained under Chinese 
jurisdiction ; the German port and administrative centre were at Tsingtau 
at the mouth of the bay. 


regard to foreign countries." Ultimately, by two agree- 
ments, signed by Sir Robert Hart and the German envoy 
on April 17th, 1899, and December 1st, 1905, the Chinese 
customs administration, instead of being pushed outside 
into Chinese territory, was invited inside the Schutzgebiet 
'and established at Tsingtau. Under these agreements 
the port, docks and manufacturing district were made a 
bonded area ; all goods entered this area freely ; the 
Chinese customs tariff duty was levied on imported products 
leaving the area for Chinese territory, and on Shantung 
produce shipped from the area for export ; in return for 
this Tsingtau was given the privileges of a Chinese treaty 
port, and one-fifth of the net revenue from imports by 
sea was paid to the German administration. [35] The free 
depot, aided by the railway, prospered, [36] but it was a 
prosperity based on an English free-trade policy, and not 
on the policy adopted elsewhere in German territory. 

§ 11. China was already committed to give Germany 
compensation for her share in the Liaotung intervention, 
and it was common knowledge that this compensation 
might take the form of the grant of a naval station. This 
might have been obtained by the ordinary diplomatic 
pressure at Peking, which the Chinese could not have 
resisted ; but Germany deliberately elected to make her 
demand in a spectacular way, by measures which affronted 
and humiliated both the rulers and the people of China. 
A moderate appreciation declared — " we do not intend to 
enter on a futile discussion of international moralitv, but 
it seems to us that the proceedings of Germany have 
deviated from international usage."[37] Li Hung-chang, 
who was soon to sign the convention ceding the territory, 
declared that " the occupation of Kiaochow by Germany 
constitutes a flagrant violation of the treaties and the law 
of nations."[38] On May 18th, after the restoration of 
friendly relations, Prince Heinrich was received by the 
emperor at the Summer Palace with imperial honours ; 
the Chinese comment on this act, friendly in form on 
both sides, was — " He came uninvited and he left un- 

[35] Texts in Treaties, ii, pp. 951, 957. 
[36] Statistics in chap, iv, § 20. 

[37] The Far East, Dec. 1897, cited in North-China Herald, Jan. 7th, 

[38] Cordier, " Relations de la Chine," iii, p. 353. 


mourned. "[39] One historian declares that " we must 
find in the manner in which the Kiaochow affair was con- 
ducted, not the sole cause, but the principal cause of 
the Boxer movement and the support given to it by the 
empress dowager. "[40] The spirit of the Hamburg 
speeches was carried into action in China and produced 
there the worst effect on the people and rulers of the empire ; 
and, before any of Germany's demands had been acceded 
to, it was "the general opinion in Japanese official circles 
that the proceedings had been unnecessarily hasty, and 
that a prolonged or possibly permanent occupation of 
such an important strategical point by a Western power 
would imperil the peace of the Far East. "[41] 

§ 12. Russia had earmarked' Kiaochow for her own, 
and for the present was to " enjoy the hospitalities of the 
port " at Port Arthur.[42] She could obtain land access 
to Kiaochow only through Mongolia and Chihli, and she 
was pledged to support the demands made by her associate 
in the act of intervention ; and sh~ readily turned her 
attention to Port Arthur, which was an ice-free port on 
the coast of her own recognised sphere of influence. Within 
a week after the German dash on Tsingtau, Russian ships 
of war arrived at Port Arthur, having under the pre- 
existing convention [43] been granted permission by the 
Chinese government to winter there. Russia was ready 
to swallow the port, and China could offer no resistance [44]; 
and its fate was decided by two conventions, [45] signed, 

L39] North-China Herald, June 6th, 1898. 

[40] Cordier, op. cit., iii, p. 356. 

[41] Sir E. Satow to Lord Salisbury, Tokyo, Dec. 1st, 1897, China, 
No. 1, 1898, p. 12. 

China was never in a position to be able to regain her lost possession ; 
but, after the outbreak of the European war, the Japanese forces, sup- 
.ported by a British contingent, invested Tsingtau and, on Nov. 7th, 1914, 
obtained possession of the place, with its forts, ships and garrison. Japan 
announced her intention of restoring the place to China after the war, on 
conditions to be settled between Japan and China. 

[42] Cf. antea, § 4. 

[43] North-China Herald, Dec. 24th, 1897, Feb. 7th, 1898. 

[44] " It is reported from Peking that the Grand Council has informed 
the viceroys and governors, in answer to many protests, that China cannot 
resist the rumoured intention of Russia to seize Port Arthur," — Ibid., 
Jan. 14th, 1898. 

[45] Texts : Chinese, Treaties, i, pp. 94, 98 ; Russian, ibid., pp. cxxvi, 
cxxx ; English trans., Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," pp. 50, 53 ; French 
trans., Cordier, " Relations," iii, pp. 362, v 365. 


the first at Peking March 27th, the second at St. Peters- 
burg May 7th, 1898. These ceded to Russia on lease the 
ports of Liishunkow [Port Arthur] and Talienwan, with 
the adjacent waters and islands, and the peninsula as far 
north as Pitzewo on the east and Polanpu on the west, 
but the cession was " without prejudice to China's sovereign 
rights " ; the lease was for twenty-five years, and " on 
expiration an extension of the term may be arranged 
between the two countries " ; a neutral zone, under 
Chinese jurisdiction but closed to Chinese troops, was 
demarked with its boundary, about sixty miles north of 
the ceded territory, running from the mouth of the Kinchow 
River on the west, thence east to the Tayang River, thence 
south to Takushan at its mouth ; Port Arthur was to be 
a naval port, closed to all but Russian and Chinese ships, 
but Talienwan [thenceforward renamed Dalny] was to be 
a trading port, open to the merchant vessels of all countries; 
Russia might connect the two ports by a railway with 
[Harbin], but recognised China's right to make railways 
eastward from Shanhaikwan ; and mining and other con- 
cessions in the neutral zone could be granted to none but 
Russians. Under these conventions the two ports were 
evacuated by the Chinese garrisons on March 27th, and 
occupied by the Russian forces the following day. 

§ 13. France watched these movements with close 
attention. M. Hanotaux, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
declared in February that France had " not the slightest 
intention of imitating Germany in seizing a naval base in 
China " [46]; but, on April 11th, the French envoy at Peking 
informed him that China had consented to lease to France 
for ninety-nine years as a naval station the Bay of Kwang- 
chow [Kwangchow-wan] with its dependencies. The French 
flag was raised there on April 22nd ; a convention [47] 
for the lease was submitted to the Tsungli Yamen on 
May 27th, 1898, but was not ratified by China until 
January 5th, 1900, the Chinese ministers being then 
brought to a decision by the murder, near Kwangchow-wan, 
of two French naval officers on November 12th, 1899. It 


[46] Tel. London, Feb. 28th, in North-China Herald, March 7th, 1898. 

[47] Text, Cordier, " Relations," iii, p. 370 ; Eng. trans., Rockhill, 
" Treaties, etc.," p. 55. It was omitted, from the treaties supplied for the 
Chinese collection of treaties. (Cf. " Submission," chap, viii, § 19, n. 112.) 


ceded to France the bay, with its inner and outer islands 
and territory on the mainland around the bay from lat. 
20° 50' N. to lat. 21° 25' N. ; within these limits the territory 
was to be governed and administered by France alone ; 
the ships of all nations were to be treated " in the same 
manner as in the opened ports of China " ; and a railway 
concession was granted. The close proximity of Haiphong 
deprived Kwangchow-wan of its utility otherwise than 
as a port of shelter, and the chief use of the cession was to 
advance the French flag a stage further towards the heart 
of China. 

§ 14. England had no desire to see the " break-up " 
of China, of which these successive cessions seemed to 
be the beginning ; and, acting on her unvarying policy in 
China, her one wish was to maintain the equality of oppor- 
tunity which had existed up to that time. When the 
German demands were formulated, the British envoy had 
knowledge only of the first five [48] ; the sixth took the 
verbal form of a demand for a material guarantee for 
China's future good behaviour in protecting the persons 
of German subjects, and either was not known to Sir C. 
MacDonald, or was considered to be a soothing phrase 
adapted for popular consumption. The envoy was in- 
structed to advise the Chinese ministers to accept promptly 
demands 1°. to 4°., but to inform them that the British 
government " will feel themselves compelled, if the fifth 
point is conceded, to demand equality of treatment for 
British subjects under the most-favoured-nation clause of 
the treaties, and compensation will be demanded on points 
in respect to which the rights secured by treaty have been 
disregarded. "[49] He was later instructed to say that 
" objections were raised by the British government, in the 
case of the French convention of 1895, to the grant of 
exclusive privileges to other nations, and any concession 
to Germany of this nature will also meet with opposition 
on [our] part. "[50] It was at this stage that the British 
envoy was told by the Chinese ministers that the " absence 
of any assurance that Kiaochow would be evacuated if 
the demands were conceded was delaying the negotiations, 

[48] Cf. antea, § 7. 

[49] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, Nov. 3rd, Dec. 8th, 1897, 
China, No. 1, 1898, pp. 3, 7. 

[50] Same to same, Dec. 15th, 1897, ibid., p. 8, 

III— 8 


and that Germany had asked for a coaling station " [51] ; 
but it was only when the demands were " all practically 
agreed to " that he learned that the cession of territory 
on Kiaochow Bay was to be the " guarantee for future 
good behaviour. "[52] 

§ 15. On the commercial question .Lord Salisbury had, 
for the space of a whole week, made a strong protest — to 
China, not to Germany ; but when the question of terri- 
torial cessions was raised, the affair had gone beyond 
protest unless he was prepared to resort to force. There 
were three questions raised : cession of territory, exploita- 
tion by railways and mines, and trading. There is no 
record of any protest against the cession ; no further protest 
was made against exclusive exploitation ; and on the 
question of trading facilities the declaration of the German 
government that Tsingtau open to the trade of 
all nations was accepted without demur. The German 
Chancellor gave the British Secretary the nattering assur- 
ance that he could find no better model to copy than the 
British crown colonies (such as Hongkong and Singapore) 
which had been so prosperous under the open- port policy 
adopted; but he condescended to give no further assurances, 
either to England or to other powers — " The German 
government had shown in the whole proceeding so much 
loyalty, love of peace, and moderation, that special declara- 
tions, either before or after sending out the squadron to 
Kiaochow, were not necessary. "[53] 

§ 16. In the middle of December Russia was negotiat- 
ing with the Chinese ministers on a proposal to lend China 
£16,000,000 at 4 per cent, and issue price of 93, this beiig 
the third loan of a like amount to make up the indemnity 
payable to Japan. The first had been a Franco-Russian 
loan with the guarantee of the Russian government, and 
the second had been made jointly by English and German 
banks without government guarantee ; Sir C. MacDonald 
now proposed that the third loan should'be made directly 
and officially by the British government. [54] On 

[51] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Dec. 14th, 1897, ibid., p. 8. 

[52] Same to same, Jan. 3rd, 5th, 1898, ibid., p. 14. 

[53] Reichskanzler von Biilow before Budget committee of Reichstag, 
Kolnischer Zeitung, Jan. 25th, cited in Sir F. Lascelles to Lord Salisbury, 
Berlin, Jan. 25th, 1898, ibid., p. 31. 

[54] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Dec. 22nd, 1897, ibid., p. 9. 


January 8th he was authorised to propose such a loan for 
£12,000,000, the amount required to complete the Japanese 
indemnity, at 4 per cent, and par, the security being the 
foreign and native customs, the salt gabelle, and the likin ; 
certain conditions were imposed : 

"1°. Control of the pledged revenues. 

** 2°. A railway from Burma to the Yangtze valley. 

" 3°. A guarantee against the cession of territory in the Yangtze 
basin to any other foreign power. 

" 4°. Talienwan to be a treaty port, .also Nanning in Kwangsi 
and Siangtan in Hunan. 

" 5°. The likin-free area at treaty ports to be denned. "[55] 

§ 17. The French government declared at Paris its 
" objection " to an official loan with the sole guarantee of 
England, [56] and at Peking protested against the opening 
of Nanning as a treaty port, and the concession of a railway 
from Burma. [57] The Russian envoy at Peking, under 
instructions from his government, protested in the strongest 
manner against the opening as a treaty port of Talienwan, 
which was within the Russian sphere of influence, and 
warned the Chinese ministers that by such an act they 
would bring on China the hostility of Russia [58] ; both 
protest and warning were repeated by Count Muravieff 
at St. Petersburg and by the Russian ambassador at 
London [59] ; and, as a hint, the campaign against Mr. 
Kinder and the British connexion with Manchuria, begun 
in October, [60] was now revived. Lord Salisbury gave 
way and, after the protest at Peking, but before those 
at St. Petersburg and London, withdrew Talienwan from 
his demands. [61] 

§ 18. Russia now attacked on another line. She" had, 
on December 22nd, obtained permission for her fleet to 

[55] Same to same, Dec. 30th, 1897; Lord Salisbury to Sir C. Mac- 
Donald, Jan. 8th, 1898 ; ibid., pp. 11, 16. 

[56] Sir E. Monson to Lord Salisbury, Paris, Jan. 12th, 1898, ibid., 
p. 17. 

[57] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Jan. 25th, 1898, ibid., p. 24. 

[58] Same to same, Jan. 16th, 1898, ibid., p. 21. 

[59] SirN. O'Conor to Lord Salisbury, Lord Salisbury to Sir N. O' Conor, 
Jan. 19th, 1898, ibid., pp. 23, 24. 

[60] Cf. chap, iv, § 15. 

[61] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, Jan. 17th, 1898,, China, 
No. 1, 1898, p. 21. 


winter in Port Arthur, and the Japanese government was 
officially informed that the permission would be used 
only temporarily. [62] The British fleet at once proceeded 
north ; on the 29th seven ships were at Chemulpo, a most 
unusual winter station, and two at Port Arthur. [63] The 
presence of British ships at Port Arthur was complained 
of as being " so unfriendly as to set afloat in St. Petersburg 
rumours of war with England " [64] ; and Lord Salisbury 
was informed that " Russia is anxious to maintain friendly 
relations, but hopes that England will endeavor to avoid 
friction in the Russian sphere of influence." He replied 
that only one ship, the IpJiegenia, was at Port Arthur, 
having been sent there by the admiral acting within 
his discretion, and would in ordinary course be leaving in 
a few days ; and he asserted the " perfect right of British 
ships to visit Port Arthur and other Chinese ports. "[65] 
The Iphegenia left in ordinary course, and the Chinese were 
promptly inspired with the belief that she had left under 
Russian threats ; and this was also implied in the official 
announcement made at St. Petersburg. [66] Lord Salisbury 
informed the Chinese ministers that tw the statement that 
the admiral had been directed by the government to with- 
draw the ship from Port Arthur was a pure invention "[67] ; 
but none the less British prestige in China received a severe 

§ 19. China agreed to the terms of the British govern- 
ment loan on January 18th [68] ; on the 21st her ministers 
were emboldened to ask for £16,000,000 instead of the 
bare sum required for the indemnity [69] ; this was 
refused [70] ; on the 25th the Russian envoy " protested 
against the loan in the strongest manner as disturbing the 
balance of influence in China," and the French envoy 
protested against certain of the conditions [71] ; and on 

[62] Sir E. Satow to Lord Salisbury, Dec. 23rd, 1897, ibid., p. 10. 
[63] Brit, admiral to Admiralty, Chemulpo, Dec. 29th, 1897, ibid., p. 1 1 . 
[64] Sir N. O'Conor to Lord Salisbury, Jan. 19th, 1898, ibid., p. 23. 
[65] Lord Salisbury to Sir N. O'Conor, Jan. 23rd, 1898, ibid., p. 24. 
[66] Tel. London, Jan. 24th, in North-China Herald, Jan. 28th, 1898. 
[67] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, Jan. 27th, 1898, China, No. 1, 
1898, p. 25. 

[68] Sir C. MaqDonald to Lord Salisbury, Jan. 18th, 1898, ibid., p. 22. 
[69] Same to same, Jan. 21st, 1898, ibid., p. 23. 

[70] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, Jan. 24th, 1898, ibid., p. 24. 
[71] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Jan. 25th, 1898, ibid, p. 24. 


February 3rd Prince Kung informed Sir C. MacDonald 
that Russia had used such strong threats that China had 
decided to borrow from neither. [72] The proposal was 
perforce abandoned, and a' preliminary agreement was 
signed, on February 19th, with the Hongkong and Shanghai 
Bank and the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank, acting together, 
for a loan of £16,000,000. 

§ 20. Driven from one position after another, Lord 
Salisbury next gave his attention to the task of securing 
commercial facilities in what was now obviously about to 
become a Russian port. He informed the Russian govern- 
ment that he had no objection to the cession of a com- 
mercial port, but that a military port was another matter — 
to that there were grave objections. [73] To this Count 
Muravieff replied that Port Arthur was a vital necessity 
to Russia, that Russia could not be denied what had been 
granted to Japan and Germany ; and he added, as if in 
pained surprise, that the only government to raise any 
objection was the British. [74] This was the crux of the 
situation in which Lord Salisbury found himself : Germany 
and France were Russia's accomplices ; Japan had not yet 
recovered from the exhaustion of war; America had no 
aggressive policy and, besides, was otherwise engaged [75] ; 
and intervention by England to resist or to retard the 
cutting of the melon [76] could have had the support 
of no other power. Lord Salisbury realised this ; it 
was also re alised by Count Muravieff, and the convention 
for the cession of the Liaotung peninsula was signed on 
March 27th. 

§ 21. In February Sir C. MacDonald had reported that 
a Chinese minister occupying an influential position had 
hinted that the Chinese government would ofter a lease of 
Weihaiwei to England, if it thought that the offer would 
meet with a favorable response. [77] Lord Salisbury at 
once replied [78] that the policy of the British govern - 

• [72] Same to same, Feb. 3rd, 1898, ibid., p. 32. 

173] Lord Salisbury to Sir N. O'Conor, March 22nd, 1898, ibid., p. 52. 

[74] Sir N. O'Conor to Lord Salisbury, March 23rd, 1898, ibid., p. 53. 

[75] The Maine was blown up in Havana harbour on Feb. 15th. 

[76] The expression used by the Chinese to describe the situation in 
China during the spring of 1898. 

[77] Sir.C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Feb. 25th, 1898, China, No. 1, 
1598, p. 41. 

[78] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, same date, ibid. 


ment was to discourage the alienation of Chinese territory, 
and that the proposal to lease Weihaiwei was premature. 
In no long time he reconsidered his position, since '* the 
influence of Russia over the government at Peking will b£ 
so much increased to the detriment of British interests, 
if Russia is to have a lease of Port Arthur and Talien- 
wan " [79] ; and on March 25th he instructed his envoy at 
Peking that " as the balance of power in the Gulf of Pechihli 
is materially altered by the cession of Port Arthur to Russia, 
it is therefore necessary to obtain a lease of Weihaiwei, on 
the departure of the Japanese, on terms similar to those 
for Port Arthur. "[80] The Japanese government expressed 
its " concurrence in the contemplated lerse of the port to 
England " [81*] ; the Chinese ministers promptly agreed,[82] 
probably with a sigh of relief ; and a convention [83] was 
signed on July 1st leasing, " for so long a period as Port 
Arthur shall remain in the occupation of Russia," the bay 
of Weihaiwei together with the island of Liukungtao and 
a belt of land ten miles wide around the bay ; but the 
Chinese officials were to continue to exercise civil jurisdic- 
tion within the town of Weihaiwei. The last instalment 
of the indemnity having been paid on May 9th, the Japanese 
troops evacuated the place, and the British flag was raised 
on May 24th. 

§ 22. England stood alone, and, having accepted the 
cession of Kiaochow to Germany, Lord Salisbury was 
anxious to give no cause for suspicion to that power. 
Before he took any steps in the matter of the lease of 
Weihaiwei, he announced to the German government his 
intention of ** occupying territory forming part of Shan- 
tung," and assured it that Weihaiwei was not and could 
not be made a commercial port having access to all parts 
of the province ; that England did not wish to interfere 
with the interests of Germany in that region ; and that it 
was regrettable that the action of Russia compelled her 
to take the course she proposed. [84] After some negotia- 

[70] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. Mac Donald, March 7th, 1898, ibid., p. 42. 
[80] Same to same, March 25th, 1898, ibid., p 54. 
[81] Sir E. Satow to Lord Salisbury, April 2nc . 1898, ibid., p. 61. 
[82] Sir C. MacDonald to same, April 3rd, 189: ibid. 
[83] Treaties, i. p. 349. . 

[84] Lord Salisbury to Sir F. Lascelles, March th, 1898, China, No. 1, 
1898, p. 54. 


tion the assurance, the publication of which in the Reichs- 
Anzeiger was authorised, took the following form : 

" The British government, in view of the approaching occupa- 
tion of Weihaiwei, has spontaneously intimated to the German 
government that it has no intention of injuring or calling in question 
German rights or interests in the province of Shantung, or of creating 
any difficulties for the German government in that province ; and 
that in particular it has no intention of laying down railway com- 
munications with the interior of the province from Weihaiwei or 
from the territory which appertains to that port." [85] 

This self-denying declaration was a frank admission 
that British enterprise had no rights in Shantung which 
Germany was bound to recognise, notwithstanding Lord 
Salisbury's previous assertion of those rights [86] ; and it 
limited the purpose in obtaining the lease of Weihaiwei to 
' serving as a base from which to resist the placing of in- 
convenient pressure on Peking," and to " keeping the Gulf 
of Pechihli free from foreign domination. "[87 J The 
British government did not fortify Weihaiwei, and it served 
only as a British port to which a British fleet might at any 
time be sent without question. 

§ 23. The military position at Hongkong had long 
been a subject of much concern to the British authorities. 
The harbour was bordered on much of its northern side by 
Chinese territory,[88] and it was desired to secure such an 
extension of the colonial limits as would free the town 
and harbour from any danger of hostile attack. As direct 
compensation for the cession of Kwangchow-wan to 
France the previous tentative negotiations for the extension 
were now pushed ; and China, in her helpless search for 
support from one Western power or another, was ready 
to accede to the demand. A convention [89] was accord- 
ingly signed at Peking on June 9th, 1898, by w^ich England 
obtained on lease for ninety-nine years the whole of the 
Kowloon peninsula from Deep Bay to Mirs Bay, together 
with the waters of the two bays, and all the waters and 

[85] Same to same, April 19th, Sir F. Lascelles to Lord Salisbury, 
April 22nd, 1898, China, No. 1, 1899, pp. 27, 30 ; London Times, April 22nd, 
1898 ; Rockhill, " Treaties, etc.," p. 180. 

[86] Cf. antea, § 14. 

[87] London Spectator, April 9th, 1898. 

[88] Cf. " Submission," chap, xviii, § 15. 

[89] Treaties, i, p. 347. 

120 thp: impending break-up ch. v 

islands north of 22° 9' N. lat., and between 113° 52' and 
114° 30' E. long. ; civil jurisdiction over the city of Kow- 
loon was reserved to the Chinese officials, and a future 
railway to Canton was provided for. To the previous 
area of twenty-nine square miles was thus added 376 — 
286 on the mainland and ninety on the islands — making 
a total of 405 square miles. It was planned that the 
British flag should be raised over the new territory on 
April 17th, 1899 ; on the 15th its turbulent inhabitants 
rose in mass to resist the cession of their homes, but the 
rising was quelled by the British police and military, with 
some loss of life, in encounters during the next three days ; 
and on May 16th, as punishment for the resistance, Chinese 
jurisdiction was expelled from the city of Kowloon 
[Kaulung] [90]. The inclusion of the waters of Deep 
Bay and Mirs Bay in the cession was a serious impediment 
to the work of Chinese customs cruisers, to which they 
were closed. 

§ 24. The cession of territory was not the end of the 
demands on China. The first " declaration of non- 
alienation " was made on March 15th, 1897, to France ; 
she had asked China to declare that she would not " alienate 
or cede the island of. Hainan to any other foreign power, 
either as final or temporary cession, or as a naval station 
or coaling depot " ; to this the Tsungli Yamen replied dis- 
claiming any intention of ceding Hainan to any power. [91] 
When Germany had definitely obtained the cession of 
Kiaochow Bay, ar«d the Russian claim on Liaotung was 
obviously coming to a head, the British envoy asked for 
" a definite assurance that China will never alienate any 
territory in the provinces adjoining the Yangtze to any 
other power, whether under lease, mortgage, or any other 
designation " ; and, on February 11th, 1898, the Tsungli 
Yamen gave the assurance in the words quoted. [92] In 
April, 1898, France asked for " an assurance that China 
will not cede to any other power all or a part of the pro- 
vinces bordering on Tongking, either definitely or tem- 
porarily, or on lease, or by any title whatsoever " ; on 

[90] North-China Herald, April 24tn, May 2znd, 18y9, 
[91] Rockhill, "Treaties, etc.," p. 173; Cordier, "Relations," iii, 
p. 333. 

[92] Rockhill, p. 174 ; Cordier, p. 308. 


April 10th the assurance was given in the terms quoted.[93] 
Japan then asked for a similar assurance for the province 
of Fukien ; and, on April 26th, an assurance was given 
that China would not alienate any part of Fukien to any 
power whatsoever. [94] 

§ 25. The provinces bordering on Tongking are Yunnan, 
Kwangsi and Kwangtung ; but the assurance given as to 
Kwangtung must be considered as being limited to the 
western part, since China wks called upon to cede Kwang- 
chow-wan to France herself, and consequent upon that 
cession, the extension of the territory of Hongkong was 
agreed to in June* without any protest being made by 
France. The Yangtze declaration was an assertion of 
the open door, and not a claim to share in the break-ur 
of China ; indeed the British policy was to avert or to re- 
tard that break-up. Lord Salisbury put forward a claim 
that, " other things being equal, railways in the Yangtze 
region should be conceded to English companies, and in 
the province of Shantung should be conceded to German 
companies " [95] ; but he had already been informed that 
Germany claimed that there was a distinction between the 
German position in Shantung and the British position 
in the Yangtze basin — [the German ambassador] ' main- 
tained that Germany, by her occupation of Kiaochow, and 
her agreement with China respecting Shantung,has acquired 
a special position in that province, which consequently 
is not unreservedly open to British enterprise, whereas 
Great Britain, not having acquired any place in the Yangtze 
region, that region is still unreservedly open to German 
enterprise " [96] ; and it was the German contention which 
ultimately prevailed. With Russia, however, a bargain 
was struck in April, 1899 ; Russia agreed not to interfere 
in the Yangtze basin, and England not to interfere outside 
the Great Wall. [97] 

§ 26. There remained the two great services of which 
Sir R. Hart was the head, with the title of Inspector 
General of Customs and Posts, and for these assurances 

[93] Rockhill, p. 178; Cordier, p. 368. 
[94] Rockhill, p. 181 ; Cordier, p. 369. 

[95] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, June 8th, 1898, China, 
No. 1, 1899, p. 117. 

[96] Same to Sir F. Lascelles, May 13th, 1898, ibid., p. 82. 
[97] Cf. chap, iv, § 26 ; Rockhill, p. 183. 


were now demanded. Consequent on the failure of the 
proposed loan to China,[98] the British envoy, " in view 
of the immense preponderance of British trade with China 
over that of other countries," asked for an assurance that 
" the Inspector General of Maritime Customs should in the 
future, as in the past, be of British nationality " ; and on 
February 13th, 1898, China gave the required assurance — 
" but if at some future time the trade of some other country 
should become greater than that of Great Britain, China 
will then of course not be bound to necessarily employ 
an Englishman as Inspector General. "[99] France asked 
for a similar assurance that China would place a Frenchman 
at the head of the postal service [100] ; but the Tsungli 
Yamen, while pointing out that the postal was under the 
same direction as the customs service, contented itself 
with promising that, " if a separate postal department 
were at some future time established with a European 
director at its head, France equally with other powers 
should have the right to recommend a candidate for 
the post."[101] 

§ 27. Advantage was also taken of China's condition 
of abasement to establish new foreign " concessions " at 
several of the treaty ports, at which, up to that time, there 
had been British concessions, nominally exclusive, but 
actually open to all on equal terms. At Newchwang 
Russia obtained such a concession, Germany at Tientsin, 
and Japan demanded concessions at Amoy and Foochow. 
At Hankow, obviously destined to be a gre^t railway 
centre, all joined in the scramble ; France revived her 
claim to an abandoned concession ; and Russia, Germany, 
Japan and Belgium staked out new claims. At Shanghai 
the former English and American settlements have been 
merged in one general international and self-governing 
settlement ; but the French settlement had been kept 
under separate French jurisdiction. [102] For nearly 
twenty years there -had been an agitation to extend the 
boundary of the international settlements, the prosperous 

[98] Cf. antea, §§ 16, 17, 19. 
[99] Rockhill, p. 176. 
[100] Cordier, p. 369. 

[101] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, April 15th, 1898, China, 
No. 1, 1899, p. 102. Cf. chap, iii, §§ 12, 20. 
[102] Cf. " Submission," chap, vi, §§ 8 freq. 


merchants of which felt cramped in their narrow limits ; 
but now, in July 1898, France demanded a large increase 
in the area of her settlement, in which the chief commercial 
interest, was the river-side wharfage, and that was not 
French. There were immediate protests from British 
and American owners of land within the proposed extension, 
who objected to being deprived of the jurisdiction of their 
own courts ; but this was met by a declaration that the 
French courts would not claim jurisdiction. [103] Upon 
this the claim for the extension of the international settle- 
ment was again pressed, and against this extension the 
French envoy protested. [104] The Chinese were opposed 
to both extensions and welcomed both protests. The French 
envoy having withdrawn his protest, the international 
extension from about 1500 acres to 5584 acres was agreed 
to in May, 1899 [105] ; the French claim was then reduced 
so as not to include British or American owned land, and, 
the British and American protests being then withdrawn, 
that extension to 358 acres, was, in January, 1900, also 
agreed to. [106] 

§ 28. England, standing without other support, had 
been unable to resist the German demand for a naval 
station at Kiaochow and a predominant position in Shan- 
tung ; she had also been driven to withdraw her active 
opposition to the Russian demand for the cession of Port 
Arthur and Talienwan, and for a predominant position in 
Manchuria ; these were both foreign bases for an offensive 
penetration of China. France then obtained the defensive 
base of Kwangchow-wan, with other advantages already 
enumerated ; and England occupied the defensive base of 
Weihaiwei. This has seemed to most English writers a 

[103] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 16th, Dec. 5th, 1898, 
China, No. 1, 1899, pp. 275, 312 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Jan. 5th, 1899, 
U.S. For. Re!., 1899. p. 143. 

[104] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, March 24th, 1899, U.S. For. Kel., 189:), 
p. 145. 

[105] Same to same, July 5th, 1899, ibid., p. 148 ; Mr. Bax-Ironside to 
Lord Salisbury, May loth, 1899, China, No. 1, 1900, p. 156; Shanghai 
Taotai's proclamation, May 8th, in North China Herald, May 29th, 1899. 

[106] Mr. Adee to Mr. Conger, Aug. 26th, 1899, U.S. For. Rel., 1899, 
p. 149 ; Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Dec. 27th, 1899, China, No. 1, 
1900, p. 409. Taotai's proclamation, Jan. 27th, in Echo de Chine, 
Shanghai, Feb. 12th, 1900. The opportunity was also taken to settle, in 
favour of the French claims, the question of the Ningpo gild house. Cf. 
" Submission," chap, xiii, § 15. 


humiliating position for a power which, in the first stage 
of China's international relations, 1834-56, had single- 
handed opened the trade of the empire to the nations of 
the west ; which, in the second period, 1856-94, had 
occupied a leading position in the councils of the Western 
powers ; but which now, in the third period, appeared to 
have lost all control over the direction of affairs. And 
yet from the swelter she succeeded in picking up some 
trifling advantages. In addition to Weihaiwei and the 
Hongkong extension, she had obtained the declaration for 
the non-alienation of the Yangtze basin, and for the 
Inspectorship of the customs, though the practical value 
of either might be small. These were demanded as com- 
pensation for the rejection of the accepted offer of a guaran- 
teed loan, and, as further compensation for. the same 
offence,[107] Sir C. MacDonald obtained the opening of the 
" inland waters " [108] of China to steam navigation, and 
the opening of Nanning in Kwangsi, and Siangtan (sub- 
sequently changed to Yochow) in Hunan, as treaty ports. 
In exploitation also some successes had been scored ; in 
addition to the mining rights conceded to the Peking 
Syndicate (British), Sir C. MacDonald asserted that, to the 
end of November, 1898, the railway concessions granted 
were as follows : [109] 


. 2800 miles 1 


650 miles 


. 1530 ,, 


. 420 „ 


. 720 ' 1 

American . 

, 300 ,, 

These figures would have been more comforting had 
they not turned out ^somewhat illusory. [110] 

§ 29. Of the six powers which had shown an active 
interest in Chinese affairs, five had obtained a slice of the 
melon, America alone having abstained. The world was 
now to be surprised by the advent of Italy on the scene. 
In February, 1899, it was announced that Italy intended 

[107] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Feb. 20th, 1898, China, 
No. 1, 1899, p. 14. 

[108J It was provided by the Chef oo convention^ 1876 (Sec. Ill, art. iv) 
that the term " inland " should " apply as much to places on the sea coasts 
and river shores, as to places in the interior not open to foreign trade." 

[109] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord C. Beresford, Nov. 23rd, 1898, China, 
No. 1, 1899. p. 344. 

n 101 Cf. Appendix B. 


to despatch a squadron to Chinese waters and to increase 
the numbers of her consuls in China [111] ; and a week 
later she demanded the cession of a naval station on 
Sanmen Bay, a deep inlet on the east coast of the province 
of Chekiang.[112] The demand was approved by England, 
Germany and France ; the attitude of Russia was doubtful ; 
and in Japan it was held that Italy had demanded the 
cession of a '• district lying within the territory which by 
arrangement between Japan and China must not be alien- 
ated to any other power. "[113] Such approval as was 
given was purely platonic, limited only to diplomatic 
support, and it was conditioned by an assurance given by 
Italy to the other powers that she would avoid the use of 
force ; and, at the very outset, the Italian envoy at 
Peking, comniendatore R. Martino, was disavowed and 
recalled because he had presented an ultimatum on the 
subject to the Chinese ministers. [11 4] Against a demand 
so supported, it is not surprising that the Chinese ministers 
should have stiffened their backs ; and the Grand Council 
instructed the governor of Chekiang to resist any act of 
aggression and to call upon the viceroys at Foochow and 
Nanking for such additional troops and supplies as he might 
require. [115] There was a bustle of activity throughout 
the empire,[116] and it was generally felt by high and low 
that tjie Italian demand must be resisted and a stop put 
to the unending nibbling at Chinese territory by foreign 
powers. In face of this resistance Italy abandoned her 
claim, declaring at the end of May that she had " no 
intention to pursue a policy of occupation in China, but 
only a policy of commercial expansion " [117] ; and a 
feeling of elation filled the hearts of patriotic Chinese. 

§ 30. America had stood apart. She was busily 
engaged in 1898 with the Spanish war, and in 1899 with 
the insurrection in the Philippines ; but, apart from this, 
foreign aggression and demands for cession of foreign non- 

[111] Tel. London, Feb. 24th, North-China Herald, Feb. 27th, 1899. 

[112] Ibid., March 2nd, ibid., March 6th, 1899. 

[113] Kobe Chronicle, Feb. 28th, cited in ibid., March 13th, 1899. 

[114] Tel. London, March 14th, 16th, ibid., March 20th, 1899. 

[115] Tel. Peking, March 15th, ibid. 

[116] The author was at the time in close touch with Chang Chih-tung, 
viceroy at Wuchang, and was aware of great military preparations in his 
jurisdiction. Cf. chap, vii, § 15. 

[117] Tel. London, June 2nd, North-China Herald, June 5th, 1899. 


contiguous territory were contrary to her uniform policy. 
The administration of President McKinley had, however, 
looked with some dismay on the creation of spheres of 
influence, in which exclusive privileges were claimed for, 
and conceded to, the subjects of other powers, while 
Americans were rigorously excluded from the development 
of railways and mines in them ; but the task which could 
not be taken up by England, always devoted, and never 
more so than at this time, to the policy of the " open door," 
it was obviously beyond the power of America to undertake. 
The supply of financial means, of engineering and industrial 
ability, and of railway and mining material, was now 
subject to the veto of interested powers in some of the 
provinces of the empire, and was possible in the remaining 
provinces chiefly through the action of the British govern- 
ment ; but the door had not yet been anywhere closed 
to the unrestricted exchange of commodities, other than 
railway and mining plant, and the American administra- 
tion now undertook to keep this door open. 

> § 31. On September 6th, 1899, Mr. John Hay addressed 
a note to the American ambassadors to England, France, 
Germany and Russia, and on November 13th and 17th 
to those to Japan and Italy, instructing them to obtain 
from the governments to which they were accredited a 
" formal assurance that each, within its respective sphere 
of whatever influence, 

" 1°. Will in no way interfere with any treaty port or any vested 
interest within any so-called sphere of interest or leased territory it 
may have in China. 

"2°. That only the Chinese government should collect duty 
and according to the Chinese treaty tariff. 

•" 3°. That no preferential harbour dues or railway charges should 
benefit its own subjects." [118] 

All the powers gave the desired assurance. Russia made 
the reservation that " the settlement of the question of 
customs duties belongs to China herself," but disclaimed 
any " intention of claiming any privileges for its own sub- 
jects to the exclusion of other foreigners. "[119] Germany 
declared that she had, " from the beginning, not only 

[118] Correspondence in U.S. For. Rel., 1899, pp. 128 seq. 

[119] Count Muravieff to Mr. Tower, Dec. 18th, 30th, 1899, ibid., p. 141. 


asserted, but also practically carried out to the fullest 
extent, in her Chinese possessions, absolute equality of 
treatment of all nations with regard to trade, navigation 
and commerce " [120] ; and further that " the policy of 
Germany in the extreme Orient is de facto the policy 
of the open door."[121] France declared that she " de- 
sires throughout the whole of China equal treatment to 
the citizens and subjects of all nations, especially in the 
matter of customs duties and navigation dues, as well as 
transportation tariffs on railways. "[122] None of the 
three manifested any intention of waiving any of the 
exclusive privileges in exploitation and development 
asserted for their subjects in their spheres of interest. 
The other powers assented without reservation. 

§ 32. In the world's history no country, with so vast 
an extent of territory and so large a population, under 
one government, as China — no country with- a tithe of its 
area or population — had ever been subjected to such a 
series of humiliations, or to so many proofs of the low 
esteem in which it was held, as China had been subjected 
to in the six months from November, 1897, to May, 1898 ; 
and, it may be added, no country had so thoroughly 
deserved its fate ; no country had ever shown itself so 
incapable of correcting admitted abuses in its administra- 
tion, or of organising the resources of an exceedingly rich 
territory, inhabited by a sturdy race with many good 
qualities. This was felt by some patriotic Chinese ; but, 
though many realised the facts of the situation, they were 
few who saw a way out ; and those few could exercise no 
influence on the nation until it had been subjected to yet 
deeper humiliation. Foreign powers were now contem- 
plating with complacency the impending break-up of 
China ; she was yet to reach a stage of abasement so deep 
that the foreign powers would fear her break-up and 
provide against it. 

[120] Count von Biilow to Mr. White, Feb. 19th, 1900, ibid., p. 131. 
[121] Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay, Berlin, Dee. 4th, 1899, ibid., p. 1*30. 
[122] M. Delcasse to Mr. Porter, Dec. 16th, 1899, ibid., p. 128. 




1. Growing demand for reform in administration . . . 128 

2. Early steps taken to initiate reforms .... 129 

3. Canton a centre of radical ref or m ..... 130 

4. San Yat-sen, revolutionary reformer, his character . .130 

5. King Yu-wei, constitutional reformer, his character . . 131 

6. Rapid spread of reform feeling, spring, 1898 . . .132 

7. Two parties in the state, northern and southern . .133 

8. Kang Yu-wei introduced to personal notice of emperor . 134 

9. First reform decrees and their prophylactic, June 11,13,1898 135 
10. Dallying with reform in high places . . .. .135 

.11. Summary of Chang Chih-tung's essay. " Learn " . . 136 

12. Emperor's principal reform decrees, June 20-Sept. 16 137 

•13. A pyramid standing on its apex . . . . .139 

14. The later decrees struck at all official privilege . . . 140 

15. Dismissal of Li Hung-chang and other ministers, Sept. 4, 7 140 

16. Yuen Shih-kai summoned tosupport of emperor, Sept. 16-20 141 

17. His betrayal of the emperor's cause . . . .142 

18. His own account of his orders and his action . . .143 

19. Emperor's person seized ; his life imperilled . . . 144 

20. Escape of Kang Yu-wei by aid of British authorities . 145 

21. Empress dowager resumes regency, Sept. 22 ; Junglu in 

power ........ 146 

22. Reformers hunted down and executed, banished, or 

cashiered ........ 147 

23. General reversal of reform decrees ..... 148 

24. Administration apprehensive of foreign interference . . 149 

25. Anti-foreign disturbances in the provinces . . .150 

26. Legation guards ; Tung Fu-siang's Kansu troops . .151 

27. Forces for and against reform, explaining failure . . 153 

28. Foreign opinion on the movement and its failure . .154 

§ 1. The abasement of China, which was the result of the 
war with Japan, was perhaps scarcely felt by the toiling 
millions, whose outlook was limited to their own village, 
or, at the widest, to their own province ; but it produced 
a profound effect on the educated classes. Those whose 
education enabled them to discern what had been accom- 


1894-5 THE DAWN OF REFORM 129 

plished, in the administration of national affairs and for 
the well-being of the people, by Western countries and 
by Japan, were already anxious to see their own country 
brought to the same level of progress ; but they were a 
few thousands at most, and, at that stage, could produce 
but small effect on public opinion. But the disasters of 
the empire brought enlightenment to those others also, 
many myriads in number, who could judge of Chinese 
affairs only by their knowledge of Chinese conditions ; and 
among those of that class who urged reform were to be 
found even some of the official hierarchy, a class of men 
whose interests must be most adversely affected by any 
project for changes in the administration. 

§ 2. The earliest public declarations were in 1894 and 
1895. The first, just before the Japanese war, was a 
Cantonese memorial to the throne, drawn up by Sun Yat-sen 
and signed by many of the gentry of Kwangtung.[l] The 
second, just at the end of that war, was also a memorial 
to the throne, drawn up by the " modern sage of China," 
Kang Yu-wei, signed by over a thousand kujen [2] drawn 
from many provinces, containing proposals for reforms, 
and presented as a protest against the ratification of the 
treaty of Shimonoseki.[3] Neither produced any effect. 
Societies for a reform propaganda were formed everywhere. 
Of one of these, the " Reform Association of China " at 
Nanking, the presidency was assumed by the viceroy, 
Chang Chih-tung,[4] who preferred to ride the flood rather 
than be submerged by it ; it attracted the attention of 
the higher authorities, and was suppressed by an imperial 
decree [5] ; and from that time it became, under another 
president, one of the secret societies with which China has 
always been permeated. The " Hanlin Reform Club " 
of Peking, with members drawn from the elite of the empire, 
was suppressed at the same time [6] ; but it was revived 

[1] Cantlie, " Sun Yat-sen and the Awakeningof China," p. 57. 

[2] The second, and higher provincial, literary degree. The four 
degrees may be represented as bachelor (Hsiutsai), master (Kujen), doctor 
(Chinshih) and academician (Hanlin). 

[3] North-China Herald, Dec. 6th, 1895. The ratifications of the 
treaty were exchanged on May 8th, 1895; the memorial was therefore 
presented before that date. 

[4] Chang Chih-tung was in Jan., 1896, transferred back to Wuchang, 
and Liu Kun-yi appointed to Nanking ; they will be found there in 1900. 

[5] North-China Herald, Jan. 31st, 1896. 

[6] Ibid., Feb. 12th, 1896. 

Ill— 9 


on the strength of assurances by leading ministers that it 
would do no harm [7] ; and two years later, at the opening 
of the " hundred days " it was reported to be " flourish- 
ing." [8] In general any official inclination to reform 
remained a matter of pious opinion, leading to no 

§ 3. The seeds of reform had been planted, however, 
and the necessity for a change — some change, any change — 
was felt in all parts. The feeling was stronger along the 
coast and the course of the Yangtze than it was in inland 
provinces. In the interior some effect was created by the 
ferment introduced by the missionaries, scattered over the 
empire ; but, in the cities on the trade routes, a stronger 
impression was produced by the influence radiating from 
foreign schools in Peking, Shanghai and Hongkong, and 
from the vernacular newspapers published in the last two 
centres. No province threw itself so wholly and so heartily 
into the cause as Kwangtung : its sons felt the direct 
influence of English administration at Hongkong, they 
alone supplied the emigrants to California and to Australia, 
and they supplied much, and the most intellectual part, 
of the emigration to Singapore and other places in the 
Southern Isles ; and from those seats of democratic 
thought they brought back democratic ideas, and those 
ideas, in the chilling air of the rusty old Chinese* empire, 
inevitably became revolutionary. From Kwangtung, 
which gave the Xaiping rebellion its leader, came the two 
champions of present-day reform, Sun Yat-sen, the chief of 
the revolutionary party, and Kang Yu-wei, chief of the 
party of constitutional reform. 

§ 4. Sun Yat-sen [9] was born in 1867, of a father 
who had been converted to Christianity. His education 
was obtained under missionary auspices, chiefly English ; 
and in 1887 he went to Hongkong to study at the newly 

[7] North-China Herald, Feb. 28th, 1896. 

[8] Ibid., April 18th, 1898. 

[9] His official, or " baptismal," name was Sun Wen ; Yat-sen (a 
Cantonese form) was the to-name assumed by himself, as is customary in 
China, on reaching adolescence, the name by which he is known to all hia 
friends. There was a time when the British soldier would more readily 
recognise " Bobs " than " Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Roberts," or 
even " Field-Marshal Viscount Roberts of Kandahar." So too in 1804 the 
American soldier never called General William Tecumseh Sherman anything 
but " Billy." 


opened College of Medicine. He was qualified in 1892, 
the first graduate of the college, and started practice in 
Macao, and it was there that he came into close touch with 
the Kwangtung revolutionists. Prom this time he was 
actively engaged in revolutionary attempts. In 1894 
he established a branch of the Kolaohwei at Canton, and 
narrowly escaped arrest as member of a deputation to the 
Kwangchow t u. In October, 1895, he organised an armed 
raid from Hongkong on Canton, in co-operation with a 
revolutionary movement from Swatow, but the authorities 
were on the alert and it failed. Denied a refuge in Macao 
and then in Hongkong, he went by Honolulu to America, 
organising, wherever he went, a revolt by the people of 
China against the corrupt Martchus ; and thence he pro- 
ceeded to England. In London in October, 1896, he was 
kidnapped and kept a prisoner for ten days in the Chinese 
legation, from which he was released by the personal 
intervention of Lord Salisbury, moved thereto by Sun 
Yat- sen's former medical instructor, Dr. James Cantlie. 
In the following years " emissaries of the Chinese govern- 
ment haunted Sun's footsteps in Japan, in China, in 
Annam, and wherever he went, an enormous price being 
set upon, his capture or his death. "[10] For seventeen 
years, from 1895 to- 1912, death by violence constantly 
threatened him. [11 J The verdict of his friends has not 
been disputed — ut The transparent honesty of the man, his 
manifest patriotism, the simplicity of his character, the 
readiness to endure all for his country's sake, even torture 
and death.* [12] With opinions moulded by his mis- 
sionary education and the democratic ideas he had absorbed, 
he was convinced that, if the Manchus were to be expelled, 
their place must be taken by a republic [13] ; but, in 1898, 
the way was not prepared for the acceptance of his views. 
§ 5. Kang Yu-wei was the Erasmus of the reform 
movement. He too was a Cantonese, born in 1858 ; and, 
though educated only in the Chinese curriculum, he yet 
was able to contrast the success of the measures adopted 
in Japan with the fatal lethargy which had fallen on all 
Chinese statesmen, and he was filled with bitterness at 
the helpless position of the empire. But he had no thought 

[101 Cantlie, " Sun Yat-sen," p. 63, [12] Ibid., p. 34. 

[11] Ibid., p. 66 ? [13] Ibid., p. 143, 


of overturning the dynasty or of ejecting the mandarin g; 
his aim was to bring the throne to the support of reform 
and to demonstrate to the mandarins the wisdom, and the 
necessity, of a thorough reorganisation of the machinery 
of government. By his writings, the most noteworthy 
being three books, " The Book of Great Similitudes," 
' The Reform of Japan," and " The Reform of Russia," 
he had already attracted attention and had gained the 
title throughout the empire of " the modern sage " [14] ; 
and, holding no office, his name was on the tongue of all 
those educated Chinese who, while abhorring revolutionary 
methods, were anxious that reforms should be adopted 
to save China from what appeared to be her inevitable 
fate. His ideal was "to. make China a republic with a 
nominal hereditary ruler," in other words, a constitutional 
monarchy ; and he declared that " China could not be a 
republic," and that " the, political evolution of the Chinese 
state led naturally to a monarchy." [15] 

§ 6. These movements had made some progress while 
the empire was suffering only from the degradation of 
the war with Japan. The campaign of foreign aggression, 
which began with the buccaneering raid on Tsingtau in 
November, 1897, and ended in the forcible seizure of four! 
new foreign enclaves and the extension of a fifth, and the 
domineering attitude of some of the foreign powers, [16] 
greatly intensified the feeling of humiliation and brought 
the intelligenzia of the empire to a fuller realisation of the 
imperative necessity of reform. It may fairly be said 
that, in the spring of 1898, all the younger members of the 
mandarinate and the gentry were reformers— some of 
them, perhaps, with a confused idea of what reform meant, 
but all ready to support moderate reform, and some 
resolved on radical measures. Even the younger members 
of the Manchu nobility were infected — it may have been a 
passing fashion, but their support was none the less valu- 
able. Their feelings of indignation at the cessions of 

[14] He was referred to under this appellation in North-China Herald, 
Dec. 6th, 1895 ; it was another way of calling him " a second Confucius." 

[15] Mang Hyi-zung, paper on '* Kang 'Yu-wei," St. John's Echo, 
Shanghai, April, 1915. 

[16] " The Chinese complain that Mr. Pavloff [Russian envoy] treats 
China as if it were a subject province." — Tel. Peking, July 29th, in North- 
China Herald, Aug. 1st, 1898. 


Kiaochow and Liaotung were manifested in April by a 
memorial signed by 1200 of the younger metropolitan 
officials and recent chinshih graduates, including some 
Manchus, urging the emperor not to trust u the mercenary, 
selfish and timid advice " of his ministers, but '• to use his 
own judgment and summon his courage in dealing with the 
crisis " ; this memorial was presented by a prince of the 
blood. [17] At the same time a formidable palace con- 
spiracy was discovered, directed against the existing 
court regime, and promoted by " progressive young 
Chinese and Manchus who are in a state of fiery indigna- 
t on at the virtual sale of their country. "[18] 

§ 7. Reform, then, was in the air, and even at Peking 
there was a reform party ; its organ, " Chinese Progress," 
a very outspoken weekly with a circulation of 10,000, 
was now turned into a daily. [19] The two parties were 
formed on lines of double cleavage — the young and enthu- 
siastic against the old and experienced, and the South 
against the North. The leaders of the North, the party 
of the Manchus, were Hsu Tuug, a Chinese Bannerman, 
formerly Grand Tutor to the Emperor Tungchih, and Li 
Hung-tsao, a Grand Councillor and native of Chihli ; the 
leaders of the South were Weng Tung-ho and Pan Tsu-yin, 
both natives of Kiangsu, both accomplished scholars, 
and Weng Tung-ho the imperial Grand Tutor and in 
that capacity having always the entree to the emperor's 
presence ; all four " bore good reputations for in- 
tegrity."^] Between these two pairs there had been 
rivalry for many years ; the northern party, strong in 
the support of the empress dowager and the Manchu 
nobles and clansmen, had always held its own ; but 
the more intellectual southern party, supported by most 
of the Chinese ministers, could never be wholly 
suppressed. Other prominent actors on the scene were 
Junglu, Kangyi, both being partisans of the empress 
dowager and bitter opponents of the emperor, and Li 
Hung-chang, now in the cold shade of failure. The 
empress dowager, Tzehi, had retired from the regency in 

[17] North-China Herald, April 18th, 1898. 
[18] Ibid. 
[19] Ibid. 

[20] Bland and Backhouse, " China under the Empress Dowager," 
p. 180. 


February, 1889, but, though abdicating her power, she did 
not cease to intervene in the affairs of state whenever she 
judged it to be necessary. A moderating influence might 
have been found in two imperial princes, sons of Tao- 
kwang ; but Prince Chun, father of the emperor, had died 
in January, 1891 ; and Prince Kung, chief counsellor of 
the state during the greater part of forty years, had teen 
ill since January, and died on May 29th, 1898. It is 
generally admitted that a continuation of the life of Prince 
Kung might have saved the state many ills.[21] 

§ 8. Weng Tung- ho was no reformer — his interests 
were bound up with those of the mandarinate — but he 
was the leader of the party in whose ranks the reformers 
were to be found ; and, early in June, 1898, [22 J he brought 
Kang Yu-wei to the personal notice of the emperor, and 
strongly recommended him. The emperor, immured 
though he was in the seclusion of his palace, was already 
eager to learn what other countries had done. In 1894 his 
attention was attracted by the gift of a richly bound copy 
of the New Testament, presented by 10,900 Christian 
Chinese women to the empress dowager on her sixtieth 
birthday ; and from that time he was sedulous in getting 
all the light he eould on Western religion and customs. [23] 
His mind was immature, though he was now approaching 
his thirtieth year, and his ideas were crude ; but in the 
spring of 1898 he had reached the point of feeling the 
necessity for a change — some change, any change — if 
the state was to be saved. To him the constitutional 
reformer came as a messenger of light, and his first act was 
to read, and to be greatly impressed by, Kang Yu-wei's 
books on the reform of Russia by Peter the Great, and 
the reform of Japan in recent years, which were- now sent 
to him by the author. The effect was instantaneous. A 
decree of June 13th appointed Kang Yu-wei to the sub- 

[21] " Prince Kung's death was a serious matter. ... It is probable 
that, had he survived, there would have been no Boxer rising." — Ibid., 
p. 184. 

li It is certain that [Prince Kung's] influence was great, and that at his 
death in the spring of 1898 an important balance-wheel in the intricate 
governmental machine was lost." — Smith, " China in Convulsion," i, 
p. 128. 

[22] " Shortly after the Prince's [Kung's] death."-— Bland and Back- 
house, op. cit., p. 184. 

[23] Smith, op. cit., i, p. 128. 


ordinate post of a third-class secretary in the Ministry of 
Works, and ordered him to the distinguished honour of a 
personal audience on the 14th. 

§ 9. On June 11th the emperor had issued his first 
reform decree, a state document declaring in general terms 
that reform was necessary and foreshadowing the creation 
of the Peking University [24] ; and a second decree of 
June 12th urged princes of the blood and imperial clansmen 
to travel abroad and study foreign institutions. These 
decrees alarmed the Manchus, but they had been submitted 
to Tzehi for her approval,[25] and protest was useless. 
The keen flair of the great empress scented danger, however, 
and she took prompt steps which, a hundred days later, 
were to bring the reform movement to an end. On 
June 13th several decrees appeared, all bearing signs of 
having been issued under coercion of the empress dowager ; 
one deprived the Grand Secretary and Grand Councillor, 
Weng Tung- ho, Grand Tutor of the emperor, of all his 
offices and dignities, and ordered him to " return to his 
native place " ; one ordered that all the higher officials, 
civil and military, should return thanks for receiving any 
appointment in a personal audience of both the emperor 
and the empress dowager ; one appointed Junglu to be 
viceroy of Chihli, Wang Wen-shao being brought from that 
post to take Weng Tung-ho's place on the Grand Council. 
By the first Tzehi showed that she could strike hard at her 
enemies ; by the second, without yet resuming the regency, 
she put her finger on the pulse of the administration ; by 
the third she placed her personal friend and* loyal sup- 
porter in command of China's only organised army. [26] 

§ 10. All this, however, lurl r ed in the background, and 
reform became the fashion. Among others Junglu was 
affected ; before leaving for Tientsin he recommended for 
employment a young reformer who was afterwards 
executed. [27] Even the empress dowager, who had 

[24] Translation in Bland and Backhouse, op. cit., p. 186. 

[251 Ibid., p. 185. 

[26] Junglu was appointed in 189-1 captain-general of the Peking 
gendarmerie, lieutenant-general of the White Banner, and minister of the 
Tsungli Yamen ; in 1895 president of the ministry of War; in 1896 
assistant Grand Secretary ; in 1898 Grand Secretary and comptroller of the 
ministry of Finances ; and now, June 12th, viceroy of Chihli and Peiyang 
Tacheri. — Cordier, Relations, iii, p. 402. 

[27] Bland and Backhouse, op. cit., p. 186. 


sanctioned the first of the decrees, may be assumed to have 
looked with a kindly eye on the emperor's reaching after 
reform, so long as the changes would serve to strengthen 
the state, would not impair the prestige of the Manchu 
dynasty, and would not undermine the privileges of the 
Manchu nobles and the imperial officials. But the strongest 
adherent of the movement was a viceroy who was after- 
wards to become the leader of the moderate conservatives, 
Chang Chih-tung, then viceroy of Wuchang. At this 
juncture he wrote a book, under the title " Learn, "[28] 
of which a million copies were bought and read throughout 
the width of the empire. [29] Clothed in a faultless classical 
style, it appealed to the intellect of all who read it, and 
produced a deep effect on the minds of all, from the 
emperor [30] down. 

§ 11. In the introduction to " Learn " the author 
enumerated five objects of learning : learn the shame of 
not being like Japan, etc. ; learn the fear that we may 
become as India, Annam, Burma, Korea, Egypt and 
Poland ; learn that, if we do not change our customs, we 
cannot reform our methods ; learn what is important, 
especially the methods of foreign governments ; learn 
what is radical, and let not much learning make you forget 
the holy sages ; and all this learning will accord well with 
the Doctrine of the Mean. He inculcated the maintenance 
of religion and the Confucian precepts ; and declared that 
no dynasty since the Han and Tang [31] had shown a 
better spirit than " this our Holy Tsing," to which all must 
be loyal. He has ascertained that Western nations gener- 
ally observe the three moral obligations — " the sovereign 
is head of his subjects, the father of his sons, the husband 
of his wife," — and that they recognise class distinctions ; 
therefore their institutions may profitably be studied. 
The value of all literature must be tested by Confucian 
standards. China was not fitted to be a republic — with 

[28] An excellent summary of " Learn," by Mr. S. I. Woodbridge, is 
disguised under the title " China's Only Hope." 

[29] tl China's Only Hope," p. C. 

[30] An imperial decree of July 25th declared that " Learn " would be 
of great benefit and instruction to the scholars of the empire, and ordered 
its general distribution. — Smith, op. cit., i, p. 140. 

[31] Han, 206 B.C. to a.d. 25, Tang, a.d. 618 to 907, the two most 
glorious epochs, in Chinese history. The Chinese generally style them- 
selves " Sons of Han," but the Cantonese " Sons of Tang." 


unrestrained liberty, " the scholar would always sit at 
meat, the farmer would pay no taxes, the merchant would 
garner unbounded wealth, the workman would strike for 
higher wages, the proletariat would plunder and rojb, the 
son would disobey the father, the student would not 
follow the teacher, the wife would not obey the husband, 
the low would not defer to the high, the strong would op- 
press the weak, and mankind would soon be annihilated " ; 
therefore a strong centralised government is necessary. 
Again he enjoins on the people to retain the Confucian 
classics, but to include also the study of other subjects ; 
and, Japan being nearer, students should go to that 
country to study. Schools should be established every- 
where, and to supply the necessary funds, the money now 
spent on benevolent institutions, idol processions, theatrical 
exhibitions, and clan ancestral halls, should be diverted ; 
if these were not enough, "then convert the temples and 
monasteries of the Buddhists and Taoists into schools, 
together with the temple lands and their incomes." Books 
were to be translated and more newspapers established ; 
methods were to be reformed, railways constructed, the 
army reorganised and kept up to its strength, and all 
religions must be tolerated. He declared further that 
c the fate of China depends upon the literati alone " ; 
and that the opponents of reform were of three classes — 
the conservatives, who are stuck in the mud of antiquity ; 
the slow bellies of Chinese officialdom, who, if reform came, 
must bestir themselves ; and the hypercritical, who would 
criticise anything. 

§ 12. The reform movement was now fairly launched, 
and decrees were issued with bewildering rapidity by the 
emperor, who was completely under Kang Yu-wei's 
influence. The following is a list of those introducing the 
more far-reaching reforms : 

June 20th. — Tsungli Yamen ordered to report on steps to be taken 

to encourage art, science and agriculture. 
June 20th. — Urging haste in building the Peking-Hankow railway. 
June 23rd. — Abolishing the Wenchang essay as a prominent feature 

in the examinations, this being universally admitted 

to cripple Chinese thought. 
June 27th. — Ministers and princes to report on the adoption of 

Western arms and' drill for the Manchu Banners. 
July 4th. — Agricultural schools to be established in each province. 


July 4th. — Indicating an intention to appoint Sun Chia-nai, a 
progressive, to be president of the new university of 

July 5th. — Patent and copyright laws to be introduced. 

July- 6th. — Ministries ordered to report on the substitution of 
mental tests, in the military examinations, for the ex- 
isting tests of archery, riding and sword-brandishing. 

July 7th. — Offering rewards to inventors and authors. 

July 10th. — Establishing colleges and schools in all district cities, 
and ordering that all memorial and unofficial temples 
should be used for the purpose. 

July 14th. — Officials ordered to do all in their power to encourage 
trade and assist merchants. 

July 29th. — School boards to be established in every city in the 

July 29th. — Forecasting reform of the courts of law. 

Aug. 9th. — Journalists encouraged to write on political subjects 
for the enlightenment of officials. 

Aug. 9th. — Peking University established ; Sun Chia-nai ap- 
pointed president ; Dr. W. A. P. Martin appointed 
head of the faculty and granted second civil rank 
(red button). 

Aug. 10th. — Bureau of Control for Mines and Railways to be estab- 
lished under the presidency of two Imperial High 
Commissioners, Wang Wen-shao and Chang Yin- 

Aug. 10th. — Junglu and Liu Kun-yi [32] ordered to consult and 
report on the establishment of a naval academy and 
training ships. 

Aug. 10th. ) Ministers at Peking and officials in the provinces urged 

Aug. 26th. ) to assist the emperor in his work of reform. 

Aug. 16th. — Government Bureau of Translation established. 

Aug. 19th. — Reform of method of appointing to Hanlin. 

Aug. 21st. — Establishing Ministry of Agriculture, Arts and Com- 

Aug. 21st. — Schools to be established abroad, under the auspices 
of the legations, for the sons of Chinese abroad. 

Aug. 24th. — Emperor and empress dowager intend to go by rail to 
Tientsin on Oct. 29th to review the troops. 

Aug. 28th. — Liu Kun-yi and Chang Chih-tung ordered to establish 
at Shanghai and Hankow Bureaux of Commerce for 
the encouragement of trade. 

Aug. 30th. — Abolishing six minor and sinecurist Boards at Peking ; 
duplicate governorships, those in provinces having 
also a viceroy — Hupeh, Kwangtung, Yunnan, but 
not Kiangsu, the governor of which is at Soochow ; 

[32] The viceroys at Tientsin and Nanking were ex officio Imperial High 
Commissioners for matters connected with international trade in, respec- 
tively, the northern and southern provinces — Peiyang and Nanyang 
Tachen ; they acted in this capacity as viceroy- general over the northern 
and southern provinces respectively. 


the Director General of the Yellow River ; salt and 
grain commissioners in those provinces in which no 
salt is produced or grain sent for tribute ; and many 
minor sinecurist posts. 

Sept. 5th. — On the recommendation of Chang Yin-hwan, a begin- 
ning to be made in organising with Western drill a 
national army based on conscription, involving the 
abolition of the Green Banner, the " regular " Chinese 

Sept. 8th. — Decrees on labour relief, the encouragement of 
machinery, and a medical school. 

Sept. 9th. — An appeal not to inundate the emperor with 

Sept. 10th. — Abolishing more sinecure and redundant posts. 

Sept. 11th. — Establishing schools for instruction in production of 
tea and silk. 

Sept. 12th. — Tsungli Yamen and Ministry of War to report on 
transfer of work of Ichan [33] to Imperial Posts. 

Sept. 12th. — The examinations for military degrees to be remodelled. 

Sept. 13th. — General right granted to all subjects to memorialise 
the throne in closed memorials. 

Sept. 14th. — Granting to Manchus who have no taste or capacity for 
civil or military office, permission to take up a pro- 
fession or trade. 

Sept. 14th. — Uncultivated lands of military garrisons to be thrown 
open to the people. 

Sept. 16th. — Sanctioning a system of annual published budgets of 
receipts and expenditure. 

Sept. 16th. — Yuen Shih-kai promoted brevet vice-president of a 
ministry and appointed Inspector General of army 
organisation in the Peiyang. 

§ 13. Provided that reform was to begin ai the top 
and not at the foundation, no fault can be found with this 
list of reforms. Every one was sound, every one struck 
at a manifest evil, and every one was capable of being 
carried into effect ; but the whole structure of reform by 
decree was a pyramid standing on its apex. It was the 
work of the emperor, physically weak and mentally 
anaemic, and of his adviser, Kang Yu-wei, a single-minded 
enthusiast, with no experience in administration and un- 
skilled in swaying men, whose head had been turned by his 
sudden elevation to a position of power ; he had taken no 
high office for himself, contenting himself with his influence 
over the mind of the emperor, but his government of that 
mind was a philosopher's government and not a states- 
man's. Beyond these two, the reform movement was 

[33] Cf. chap, iii, §§ 2, 19. 


actively supported by the young students who had acquired 
a Western education, and by the Cantonese officials and 
gentry ; the rest of the southern party was lukewarm or 
apprehensive of the consequences ; and the northern 
party was united in sullen resistance, though, during 
the hundred days, its members dared not show any open 
opposition. The masses in the nation generally were as 
yet apathetic. 

§ 14. The decrees of the first months, until the end of 
August, chiefly laying broad foundations, were generally 
approved, and were not opposed by any party ; but, 
emboldened by success, the two reformers then issued a 
series of decrees which struck at the roots of existing evils 
and excited the active hostility of many whose interests 
were touched, directly or indirectly. The decree of 
August 30th not only hit the sinecurists who were deprived 
of their posts, but it affected also those who, for a con- 
sideration, had put them there, and those others who 
hoped for such a post, and those others who counted on 
obtaining one for a. nephew or a devoted follower. The 
decree of September 5th worked for the ill-educated mili- 
tary wing of the gentry the harm which that of August 30th 
had worked for the scholarly civilians. That of Sep- 
tember 12th was designed to transfer to a regulated service 
the patronage connected with an annual postal expenditure 
of three million taels. Those of June 27th and Sep- 
tember 14th relating to the Manchus struck at the privileges 
of the Manchu commonalty, and brought within sight a 
possibility of being compelled to work. The general right 
to memoralise ttruck at the privileges of the higher officials 
who had had a monopoly of the right ; and the introduction 
of published budgets threatened the very foundations of 
the system from which the officials of the empire obtained 
the emoluments proportioned to the dignity of their office. 
The purists were further scandalised by a decision, taken 
at the end of August and approved by the empress dowager, 
that she and the emperor should travel by fire- carriage 
on the iron-road to Tientsin on October 29th, and there 
review the troops. 

§ 15. During this time the former incumbents were 
generally left undisturbed in their posts, though newly 
created posts, created to further reform, were of course 


given to adherents of reform ; but some exceptions were 
made. On September 7th Li Himg-chang was dismissed 
from his post as minister of the Tsungli Yamen, together 
with the Manchu minister Kingsin : Li had little of his old 
actual power left, but he was still China's most capable 
statesman, and a firm supporter of the empress dowager, 
convinced that the ship of state was safe only with her 
hand on the helm ; his downfall was directly attributed 
to his support of Russian designs in Manchuria and his 
opposition to England, [34] but his unfriendliness to reform 
was doubtless an element in the emperor's decision. On 
September 4th, for the offence of suppressing a memorial 
sent in conformity to the decree granting the right generally, 
many officials of the ministry of Rites were summarily 
dismissed and their p laces filled by reformers ; among the 
cashiered officials were the two presidents, the Manchu 
Hwaitapu, a kinsman of the empress dowager, and the 
Chinese Hsu Ying-kwei, and the two Manchu and two 
Chinese vice-presidents. The conservatives were alarmed 
for their privileges and the reformers were equally alarmed 
at possible action by their opponents, and both sides saw 
that the time had come to strike. Both struck, the 
emperor hard and blindly, the empress dowager hard and 

§ 16. Each needed the support of the army, as had 
been the case in 1875. [35] This was now under the com- 
mand of Junglu. the empress dowager's man ; but, under 
him, was Yuen Shih-kai, who, on the termination of his 
functions as resident at Seoul, had, in 1895, been appointed 
civil commandant of the Tingwu division of 5.000 foreign- 
drilled troops of the Peiyang army,[36] and subsequently, 
in addition, provincial Judge of Chihli. The empress 
dowager wished to wait, before striking, until the proposed 
trip to Tientsin, when she could consult Junglu in person, 
on the best way to counter the hostility of the southern 
provinces [37] ; but the emperor, warned by Kang Yu-wei 

[34] Of. chap. iv. § 12. 

" Li Hung-chang has recently shown himself markedly antagonistic 
to our interests." — Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 8th, 1898, 
China, No. 1, 1899, p. 240. 

[35] Cf. " Submission," chap, xiii, § 18. 

[36] North-China Herald, Jan. 3rd, 1896. 

[37] Bland a.nd Backhouse, op. cit., p. 201. 


that Tzehi, supported by Li Hung-chang and malcontent 
imperial clansmen, was on the point of taking steps to 
restrict his personal freedom, resolved to anticipate her by 
shutting her up and clipping her wings ; it was a time to 
do or die, and as a first step he sent for Yuen Shih-kai. 
Yuen came promptly and, at his first audience, convinced 
the emperor of his zeal for reform ; a decree was then 
issued giving him the brevet rank of vice-president of a 
ministry, and charging him with the special task of organis- 
ing the army ; he would then be in effective command of 
the Peiyang forces, while the control of the viceroy Junglu, 
shut up in his yamen, would become nominal. He was 
also summoned to audience with the empress dowager, and, 
on the morning of September 20th. to a final audience 
with the emperor. He was then given a decree appointing 
him viceroy ad interim of Chihli and Peiyang Tachen, and 
received his final instructions [38] — to execute Junglu 
immediately by decapitation in his own yamen, seize the 
government, and bring the Peiyang army to Peking 
without delay. It was then the emperor's intention to 
seize the person of the empress dowager and to arrest the 
leaders of the conservative pa^ty. especially Kangyi, 
Yiilu, Hwaitapu and Hsii-Ying-kwei.[39] 

§ 17. There are two circumstantial accounts of the 
course taken at this juncture by Yuen Shih-kai. One 
follows the foregoing narrative of events at Peking, accord- 
ing to which the initiative in giving him his orders came 
directly from the emperor ; it then shows that, leaving by 
train on the morning of September 20th, he reached 
Tientsin before noon and, going at once to Junglu, asked 
if he regarded him as a faithfur blood brother, the two 
having taken the oath of brotherhood several years before. 
The viceroy answered in the affirmative, whereupon Yuen 
said — " You well may, for the emperor has sent me to 
kill you, and, instead, I now betray his scheme, because 
of my loyalty to the empress dowager and of my affection 
for you " ; and he laid before his superior the instructions 
he had received. [40] This account was accepted at the 

[38] Cf. postea, § 18. 

[39] Bland and Backhouse, pp. 201 seq. ; North-China Herald, Oct. 
10th, 1898. 

[40] Blandand Backhouse, p. 206; North China Herald, Oct. 10th, 1898. 


time by the reformers, whose plans were thus brought to 
naught, and generally by foreign historians [41] ; it was 
believed in 1900 by the leaders of the lioxer movement, 
who hoped for his support, and by the foreigners in Tientsin, 
who were apprehensive of the action he might take in the 
post he then occupied of governor of Shantung ; it was 
acted on by the reforming conservatives in 1909 when, on 
the removal by death of his protectress, the empress 
dowager, he was driven from office ; and, in 1912, it made 
his acceptance by the republicans as president of the 
republic a matter of some difficulty. 

§ 18. The other account was given by Yuen Shih-kai 
himself to the Times' correspondent at Peking in November, 
1911, when he was recalled to office in the vain hope of 
saving the dynasty. Thirteen years after the occurrence 
he said that, on the night of September 18th, he was 
visited by Tan Tze-tung, an adherent of Kang Yu-wei, 
secretary of the Grand Council, who explained to him the 
plan which had been decided on, which, he declared, had 
the emperor's consent and approval ; and he produced an 
imperial decree, written in black ink, giving general instruc- 
tions on the subject. Yuen objected that the decree was 
not one from the vermilion pencil, and that it did not 
specifically refer to the seizure of the empress dowager nor 
to the execution of Junglu, but only to a " sound plan of 
action " ; and he declared that he could take no such 
action without specific orders under the vermilion pencil. 
At* his farewell audience at daybreak on the 20th, the 
emperor made no reference to the " sound plan of action," 
and gave him no specific orders except to support reform. 
On his seeing Junglu at Tientsin, it was the viceroy who 
broached the subject — " You have come for my head ; 
you had better confess, as a man has told me everything." 
Yuen then explained — " What you have heard is but the 
plot of a few political schemers ; the emperor said nothing 
to me of such a plan, and he is innocent of such a 
measure."[42] This is not inconsistent with the opinions 
commonly attributed to Yuen Shih-kai, even by those who 

[41] Bland and Backhouse, op. cit., p. 206 ; Cordier, " Relations," iii, 
p. 408 : Kent, " The Passing of the Manchus," p. 18 ; Sergeant, " The 
Great Empress Dowager of China," p. 184 ; Smith, " China in Convul- 
sion," i, p. 148 ; Dingle, " China's Revolution," p. 225. 

[42] McCormick, " The Flowery Republic," p. 359. 


condenined his course [43] ; but it is the uncorroborated 
and ex parte statement of the survivor of the tw6 most 
concerned, and it can only be accepted with some reserve. 
At the same time it must be remembered that, as was said 
by his great leader thirty-five years before,[44] " this 
is China, not Europe " ; and an official occupying a sub- 
ordinate though responsible position may well have thought 
less of his loyalty to his sovereign, when that sovereign 
was an inexperienced and reckless puppet in the leading 
strings of a visionary enthusiast, than of his duty to his 
immediate superior the viceroy and to China's real ruler 
the empress dowager. The latter was the upholder of 
official privilege as well as Manchu rights, and had acquired 
experience and certainty of touch by forty years of power ; 
and a conscientious official may well have decided to sup- 
port her party rather than the emperor's. It is by such 
methods as were now to be adopted that general elections 
are held in Asiatic countries. 

§ 19. On receiving warning of the reformers plot, 
Junglu lost no time and reached the presence of the empress 
dowager, in the Iho palace at Yuenmingyuen, at 5 p.m. of 
the same day, September 20th. A council of the most 
prominent of Tzehi's supporters was called, including the 
members of the Grand Council and many heads of ministries, 
many Manchu princes and nobles, and the two cashiered 
ministers, Hsu Ying-kwei and Hwaitapu ; and at this 
council a counter-revolution was decided on, supported by 
troops to be sent up by Junglu ; he returned to Tientsin 
that night. On the morning of September 22nd the 
emperor was to give audience to the Japanese statesman, 
marquis Ito Hirobumi ; before the hour appointed he was 

[43] " His [Yuen's] predilections were for reform, but, like most 
Chinese, he was a constitutional trimmer, and at the critical juncture he 
failed the emperor and betrayed his plans to Junglu." — Smith, "China 
in Convulson," i, p. 148. 

" In ' My Reminiscences, by Sun Yat-sen ' it is mentioned that Yuen 
Shih-kai sent a messenger to Sun to convey Yuen's appreciation of what 
he was doing, and offering to help him in his campaign. My wife and 
myself knew of this from Dr. Sun personally. . . . Yuen had at least a 
leaning towards reform." — Cantlie, " Sun Yat-sen," p. 149. 

" Yuen Shih-kai comes in for a good deal of censure, and it is safe to 
predict that, if ever a progressive government is established, he will do 
well to make an early escape from China." — North-China Herald, Dec. 5th, 

[44] Cf. " Submission," chap, v, § 14. 


summoned to the presence of the empress dowager, whose 
person he had intended to seize, and was not again seen in 
full liberty. For many days it was suspected that he had 
been put to death, and rumours of his illness, the common 
forerunners of a convenient death, were in constant circula- 
tion. The foreign envoys gave the Chinese ministers to 
understand that they considered themselves accredited 
to the emperor alone, and that any accident to his person 
would give rise to grave suspicions ; they made frequent 
pointed inquiries as to the state of his health, and were 
ultimately reassured only by an examination made, on 
the suggestion of Sir C. MacDonald to the Chinese ministers, 
bjr Dr. Detheve, the physician of the French legation ; 
and the opinion was expressed that " there is some anxiety 
on the part of the empress dowager and her party to 
appease the opinion of other nations, which is adverse 
to them. "[45] It is certain that the emperor's life was 
only saved by the fear of foreign adverse opinion and by 
the difficulty of immediately finding a successor. 

§ 20. Meantime Kang Yu-wei, the protagonist of this 
reform movement, had escaped. After Yuen Shih-kai's 
first audience the empress dowager informed the emperor 
that Kang had spoken disrespectfully of her private life 
and morals, and that he must be arrested. [46] On Sep- 
tember 17th the emperor sent him a private note warning 
him of his danger and urging him to leave Peking, and a 
decree asking why he had not obeyed a previous order to 
go to Shanghai and there establish the Official Gazette, 
and adding, " You must proceed at once outside [? abroad, 
or only away from Peking] and devise means to save me 
without delay." He spent the next two days in hiding, 
consulting with his adherents, who told him that " the 
situation was getting more serious"; arid he asked a 
friendly adviser, Rev. Timothy Richard, to obtain the 
support of the British and American envoys. [47] He left 
Peking before daybreak on September 20th, and travelled 

[45] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 18th, 29th, 1898, China, 
No. 1, 1899, pp. 270, 278 ; North-China Herald, Oct. 17th, 1898. 

[46] Bland and Backhouse, op. cit., p. 203. 

[47] Sir C. MacDonald, Mr. Conger, Baron von Heyking, and Sir R. 
Hart, who might have giveri wise counsel, were all absent from Peking 
during the crisis. Mr. T. Richard was later informed by Sir C. MacDonald 
that he would do well not to interfere in affairs of state. 

Ill— 10 


to Tientsin on the same train with Yuen Shih-kai. At 
Tientsin he had a narrow escape, but got away on a British 
steamer ; at Shanghai all incoming steamers were searched 
for him, but outside Wusung he was transferred direct to 
the P. & O. steamer Ballaarat leaving for Hongkong ; and 
at Hongkong he accepted shelter in the police barracks. 
Thence he went to Saigon and Singapore, and thence he 
took refuge in the outer world. Whenever he was under 
the British flag the British authorities gave him special 
protection, in order to avoid the diplomatic complications 
which would have arisen from the assassination or kid- 
napping of a political refugee who had not been proved to 
have committed any criminal offence. The Chinese govern- 
ment offered 100,000 taels for his person, dead or alive, 
ordered the destruction of all books and essays written by 
him, destroyed the graves of his ancestors, and did its best 
to arrest and execute every one of his kinsmen who could 
be got hold of [48] ; but the Cantonese gild at Shanghai 
sent to the press a resolution in which its members expressed 
their gratitude to the British for having saved his life. [49] 
§ 21. On September 22nd the emperor, a prisoner in a 
pavilion of his palace, presented a humble memorial to 
the empress dowager, praying her to reassume the govern- 
ment, and asking that he might be allowed to pay his 
obeisance to her the next day ; and a decree from Tzehi 
graciously accepted the rule of the state. The next day the 
emperor, at the head of the body of princes, nobles and 
high ministers, duly made with them his " congratulatory 
obeisances. "[50] Tzehi' s hold on the government was 
also strengthened. Avowed reformers were dismissed 
from the positions to which they had been appointed, and 

[48] Kang Yu-wei's own statement in China Mail, Hongkong, Oct. 7th, 
1898 ; Governor, Hongkong, to Colonial Office, Oct. 8th, adm. Sir E. 
Seymour to Admiralty, Oct. 2nd, Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, 
Oct. 13th, 1898, China, No. 1, 1899, pp. 280, 300, 306. 

The decree, of Sept. 17th, as published in the Peking Gazette, ended 
with the words — " "We command him to start with all speed for Shanghai ; 
he is forbidden to linger here any longer." It contained no reference to his 
getting help for the emperor. 

On Sept. 23rd the village of Fangchun, south of the river opposite to 
Canton, was raided by yamen runners searching for all members of the 
Kang family ; those living there had been warned and had escaped a few 
hours before. — North- China Herald, Oct. 7th, 1898. 

[49] Ibid., Oct. 3rd, 1898. 

[50] Ibid., Sept. 25th, 11 


their places were filled by others whose loyalty — to the 
empress dowager — was beyond question. The most im- 
portant step was the appointment of Yiilu, an imperial 
clansman, as viceroy of Chihli, and the transfer of Junglu 
to Peking ; Yiilu was thus ex officio Peiyang Tachen, but 
the command of the Peiyang forces was left in Junglu' s 
hands, and a new viceregal seal was sent down omitting 
this function. Junglu, the nephew of Tzehi's sister, the 
friend — the world said, more than friend [51] — of Tzehi's 
youth, her firm supporter through all her career and always 
her most trusted adviser, was now appointed to a number 
of posts which gave him a position of power unprecedented 
in the history of the dynasty. Already commander of one 
of the Eight Banners and retaining command of the New 
Model army of the Peiyang, he was brought into the 
Grand Council, made junior Grand Secretary (the senior 
being Li Hung-chang), and appointed Comptroller General 
of the ministry of War. [52] Other kinsmen of Tzehi were 
given important commands in the Eight Banners and 
offices in the provinces — her grand-nephews Tsengho 
governor of Hupeh, and Yiichang provincial treasurer at 
Nanking ; her kinsmen Sungshow governor of Kiangsi, 
and Teshow governor of Kiangsu — and other Manchus to 
other posts. [53] The old statesmen of Chinese race fell into 
line with no delay. Chang Chih-tung, viceroy at Wuchang, 
hastened to swallow his words of encouragement to reform, 
and telegraphed to Tzehi urging her to take strong measures 
against the reformers ; but another Chinese statesman, 
Liu Kun-yi, viceroy at Nanking, " was found brave and 
disinterested enough to speak on behalf of the emperor, "[54] 
and his advocacy must be considered one of the factors in 
saving the emperor's life. 

§ 22. At the reformers the empress dowager struck 
hard, and she especially singled out the province of Kwang- 
tung for retribution. On September 23rd a decree was 
issued depriving Kang Yu-wei of his rank and ordering his 
arrest and immediate decapitation ; and another ordering 
the arrest of Chang Yin-hwan and the confiscation of his 

[51] Cf. " Submission," chap, iii, §§ 7, 10. 
[52] North-China Herald, Oct. 3rd, 10th, 1898. 

[53] Ibid., Nov. 14th. 1898. Tsengho was cashiered two months 
later. Ibid., Jan. 23rd, 1899. 

[54] Bland and Backhouse, op. cit., p. 220 


estates. The former had escaped, but the latter was 
arrested, and only the strongest representations by the 
foreign envoys on behalf of one who had been Chinese en- 
voy abroad saved his life for the time [55] ; he was banished 
to the frontier in Turkestan, and only those who know 
Chinese procedure can appreciate the horrors of such a 
sentence on one whose estate had been confiscated, whose 
friends would not venture to come to his aid, but who was 
compelled to meet incessant and extortionate demands 
for payment for even the necessities of life. On the 24th 
the censor Sung Peh-lu (a Cantonese especially detested by 
Tzehi) was cashiered for having recommended a traitor 
[sc, a reformer] Liang Ki-chao, the editor of " Chinese 
Progress " ; a second decree cashiered three taotais — 
Hsu Kien-ying, Wu Mao-ting [better known as Woo 
Jim-pah] and Twanfang — who, having been appointed 
directors of the bureaux of Commerce, Agriculture, and 
Mechanical Science, respectively, had audaciously styled 
themselves High Commissioners ; a third ordered the 
arrest of sixteen reformers, all Cantonese. Of these last 
some escaped, some were cashiered, but six were brought 
to trial, summarily sentenced, and decapitated on the 
28th ; these were Kang Kwang-jen [56] (a younger brother 
of Kang Yu-wei), Yang Shen-siu (a censor), Tan Tze-tung 
(son of the governor of Hupeh), and three Hanlins, Lin 
Hsio, Yang Jui and Liu Kwang-ti.[57] The two men 
most active in stamping out reform and searching for 
reformers were Kangyi, ex-governor of Kwangtung, now 
president of the ministry of War, and Chungli, president of 
the ministry of Punishments and commandant of the 
Peking Gendarmerie. [58] 

§ 23. The counter- reform was taken in hand without 
delay. An omnibus decree of September 26th made a 
clean sweep of many reforms : the various yamens at 
Peking which had been abolished as sinecures were restored 

[55] Cf. chap, x, § 2. 

[56] No one was bold enough to claim Kang Kwang-jen' s body, and on 
Sept. 29th io was dragged away by the executioners and cast unburied in 
the paupers' burying ground — considered in China the greatest dishonour 
and misfortune. — North-China Herald, Oct. 10th; 1898. 

[57] " The blood of the martyrs will be the seed of the new China. 
These men were not mere unattached scholars, but, except Kang, were 
men of high official rank in responsible positions." — Ibid., Nov. 14th, 1898. 

[58] Ibid., Oct. 24th, 1898. 


to their original state and their officials to their original 
duties and emoluments ; but the restoration of abolished 
posts in the provinces was left for further consideration ; 
the magazine " Chinese Progress " was suppressed ; the 
general right given to all persons to memorialise the 
throne was withdrawn, and the privilege was in the future, 
as in the past, limited to censors and high officials ; the 
Peking university and the secondary schools in the pro- 
vincial capitals were to stand, but the fu and hien cities 
were to exercise their own volition about establishing ele- 
mentary schools ; the Buddhist, Taoist and unofficial 
memorial temples which had been ordered to be turned 
into schools, were to revert to their former use ; the pro- 
posals for encouraging trade, agriculture, science and 
military reform were in general to be retained, but not such 
of them as conflicted with the interests of the government 
or were contrary to established custom. [59] On Novem- 
ber 1st a decree restored the posts of governor of Kwang- 
tung, Hupeh and Yunnan, and Director General of the 
Yellow River ; and a second restored, for the military 
examinations, the old tests in horse and foot archery, 
brandishing swords, and throwing weights. [60] The last 
decree conciliated the rank and file of the Manchus in and 
around Peking ; but those in the provinces were infected 
by the spirit of reform and had hoped for better things ; 
and it was reported of the Manchu garrisons in Hangchow 
and Chapu, 6,000 in all, that they had laid aside their 
bows and matchlocks and were armed with Mauser 
rifles,[61] and had energetically begun drilling with 
Western tactics. [62] 

§ 24. The Manchus and their adherents were in the 
ascendant, but before them loomed two causes of fear 
which imposed on them some restraint. Within their 
body were many divergent interests, and the empress 
dowager was not yet able to compose their jealousies. 
On October 23rd, while the ultimate fate of the emperor 
was still in the balance, a palace conspiracy broke out, 
presumably with the connivance of Tzehi, to place on 

[59] North-China Herald, Oct. 3rd, 1898. 
[60] Ibid., Nov. 7th, 1898. 

[61] Rifles of "450 calibre, mark 1880, at a time when the armies of 
other nations had adoped rifles of about "300 calibre. 
[62] North-China Herald, Nov. 14th, 1898. 


the throne the fourteen- year- old son of Yikwang, Prince 
Ching,[63] then president of the Tsungli Yam en ; the 
project was opposed by two imperial clansmen (of whom 
one was probably Junglu) who were ministers of the Tsungli 
Yamen, and before their superior knowledge of foreign 
affairs Tzehi had to give way ; but the crisis led to the 
empress dowager bestowing Shangfang swords on Tsaichi 
(Prince Twan) and Tsailien, two sons of Prince Tun, such 
swords giving the right to behead any one, regardless of 
rank or dignity, without previous reference to the 
throne. [64] On September 22nd the empress dowager 
was eager to recall to office her loyal adherent and most 
able statesman, Li Hung-chang, who had been driven from 
office two weeks before, but Junglu urged that this would 
certainly antagonise England [65] ; a decree of Novem- 
ber 13th ultimately brought him back to official life by 
appointing him to the revived post of director "general of 
the Yellow River. [66] The administration was anxious 
to avoid having an international difficulty injected into 
China's domestic squabbles. The foreign legations had 
already become intrusive— they appeared to have laid 
aside for a time their own jealousies — and were constant 
in their inquiries for the emperor's health and well-being, 
and in delicately suggesting that the foreign envoys were 
accredited to him and not to any usurping successor. 
Junglu, from the wider outlook which he had gained at 
Tientsin, was deeply impressed by the steady movement 
of foreign navies in the direction of the northern seas, 
coupled with the firm tone of the legations ; and when this 
loyal and trusted adviser of the empress dowager coun- 
selled prudence, she must perforce listen to his advice. 
But, while yielding, all precautions were taken, and troops 
were called in from the marches of the empire and con- 
centrated on Peking, Tientsin and Shanhaikwan. 

§ 25. There was much unrest, and the precautions of 
the foreign powers were directed as much to the dangers 
from this cause as to the political situation in Peking. 

[63] Grandson of the seventeenth son ot Kienlung (1736-00), Kiaking 
being the fifteenth son. For Kiaking's descendants, see genealogical table 
at end of " Submission," chap. xiii. 

[64] North-China Herald, Oct. 31st, 1898. 

[65] Ibid., Oct. 10th, 1898. 

[66] Ibid., Nov. 21st, 1898- 


During the spring and summer of 1898 there had been 
anti-foreign outbreaks in the island of Hainan, [67] at 
Shasi,[68] at Sungpu,[69] and at Yangchow [70] ; and the 
" notorious Chow Han " again appeared in Hupeh, inciting 
the people to the wholesale slaughter of native converts. [71] 
In Kwangsi a French missionary, Pere Bertollet, was 
murdered in the spring, [72] and in the summer a rebellion 
broke out, [73] which it took five years' campaigning to 
suppress. Aft^r the coup d'etat there was an anti-foreign 
riot at Canton on October 25th [74] ; an English mis- 
sionary named Fleming was murdered in Kweichow in 
November [75] ; and in Kiichowhien, Ichowfu, Shantung, 
there were repeated and serious anti-foreign risings — in one 
on November 5th a German missionary was attacked, and 
in a second on November 13th three American missionaries, 
but in both cases effective protection to the persons of the 
foreigners was given by the officials [76] ; in a third, in 
December, " two Roman Catholic missionaries were 
murdered and a great deal of mission property de- 
stroyed. "[77] 

§ 26. At Peking much apprehension was felt from the 
disturbed political state, but the actual danger came 
from the turbulent soldiery brought to the capital to guard 
against the fear of foreign aggression, and of these the 
most turbulent were the Kansu troops of Tung Fu-siang, 
stationed in the southern Hunting Park. Men of this 
force attacked, on September 30th, a party consisting of 
members of the British and American legations, and the 
next day the foreign representatives decided to send for a 
guard of marines from each of their fleets. The viceroy at 
Tientsin refused to allow them to pass, but, as the envoys 

[67] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, April loth, 1898, China, 
No. 1, 1899, p. 102. 

[68] Ibid., May 11th, 1898, ibid., p. 78. 

[69] Ibid., May. 15th, 1898, ibid., p. 85. 

£70] Ibid., July 7th, 1898, ibid., p. 140. 

[71] Ibid., April 25th, 1898, ibid., p. 119. 

[72] Ibid., May 3rd, 1898, ibid., p. 71. 

[73] Ibid., July 11th, 1898, ibid., p. 163. 

[74] North-China Herald, Oct.. 31st, 1898. 

[75] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Nov. 20th, 1898, China, 
No. 1, 1899, p. 30C. 

[76] North-China Herald, Dec. 5th, 1898. 

[77] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Dec. 26th, 1898, China, 
No. 1, 1899, p. 336. 


persisted, the Tsungli Yamen gave orders that their 
oassage was to be permitted ; the Chinese legation in 
London also protested against the step, and, after the 
guards had arrived, requested that they be withdrawn 
before the close of navigation, but the request was not 
complied, with. [78] On October 23rd another attack was 
made by Tung Fu-siang's men at the railway station on a 
party of engineers and members of the British legation. 
As the general commanding was slow to punish the offenders, 
Junglu took the matter in hand and obtained a special 
commission from the empress dowager for Hu Yii-fen, 
governor of Peking, to investigate the matter ; but even 
then the superior officers of the force assumed an attitude 
of bold and determined resistance to any inquiry. [79] 
The troops around Peking, largely increased as they had 
been, were filled with a feeling of hostility to the visible 
enemy — the few foreigners in Peking — and in this feeling 
they were supported by the rowdy element of the people 
who were thought to be waiting expectantly for the signal 
for a general rising [80] ; the danger to the personnel of the 
legations was apparent, and the foreign envoys jointly 
demanded, the removal of Tung Fu-siang's Kansu troops 
from the vicinity of Peking. The Chinese ministers were 
between Scylla and Charybdis. They were convinced 
of the wisdom of the policy of conciliating the foreign 
powers in the actual situation, but, with the means at their 
disposal, they were unable to coerce the disorderly troops ; 
these had it in their power to throw Peking into disorder, 
and, given good leadership and a better discipline, to over- 
throw the fabric of Manchu ascendancy, in so far as that 
was based on the paper organisation of the Manchu Banners. 
The imperial ministers set to work, however, and, probably 
by means which greatly increased the banking account of 
Tung Fu-siang and his generals, succeeded in procuring 
the removal of the Kansu troops to Kichowpei, eighty 

[78] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 1st, 5th, Dec. 2nd, 
Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, Oct. 5th; 12th, 15th ; Nov. 28th ; 
Dec. 2nd, 1898, ibid., pp. 258, 264, 266, 310, 311. 

Though the passage had been permitted by order of the Tsungli Yemen, 
Kangyi made the act a grt ind of impeachment of Hu Yii-fen, governor of 
Peking and chief director oi the Imperial Railways of China. — North- China 
Herald, Oct. 31st, 1898. 

[79] Ibid., Oct. 31st, Nov. 7th, 1898. 

[80] Tel. Peking, Nov. 30th, ibid., Dec. 5th, 1898. 


miles east of Peking, though still 150 miles west of Shan- 
haikwan, to which the envoys had desired that they should 
be sent ; but the result was accepted as a satisfactory 
solution. [81] 

§ 27. Except for the question of regulating the suc- 
cession to the throne, which was not taken in hand until 
over a year later,[82] the counter-reform movement was 
now completed. The empress dowager had seated herself 
on the safety-valve ; the leaders in reform had been 
executed, banished to the frontier, exiled, cashiered, or 
driven to recant ; the Cantonese wing had been crushed 
to earth, never, it was decided, to rise again ; and this 
promising attempt at reform of tlie empire within the 
empire, correcting manifest abuses and anachronisms while 
maintaining the dynasty, was brought to failure. , The 
reasons for the failure are obvious. The movement was 
the creation of two men, Kang Yu-wei and the emperor, 
a visionary enthusiast and an inexperienced weakling ; 
and they were actively supported only by the Cantonese, 
at Peking and in their own province, and the support 
of this revolutionary party threw suspicion on the move- 
ment in all the other provinces. Among statesmen of 
position they secured the active support only of Chang 
Yin-hwan, a Cantonese ; Chang Chih-tung gave it a 
Platonic approval ; and Liu Kun-yi maintained an attitude 
of cold neutrality. As said before, the pyramid of reform 
stood on its apex. Against the movement were arrayed, 
actively or passively, all the forces of the empire. The 
peasantry would have welcomed a reduction of taxes or 
freedom from extortion, but otherwise asked only to be left 
alone ; the traders were probably enlightened enough to 
welcome the reform of abuses, but dreaded a state of dis- 
order ; the gentry, from whose ranks the officials were 
drawn, resented the modification of established customs ; 
gentry and officials alike regarded with dismay the curtail- 
ment of official privileges and emoluments ; such states- 
men as Li Hung-chang saw in the established regime the 
only possible system for the empire ; that portion of the 

[81] Tel. Peking, Oct. 31st, Nov. 7th, Dec. 5th, 1898 ; Sir C. MacDonald 
to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 29th, Nov. 20th, 26th, 1898, China, No. 1, 1899, 
pp. 278, 300, 322, 351. 

T821 Cf. chap, vii, §§ 27-30. 


army which was represented by the Green Banner refused 
to accept annihilation ; the Manchu rank and file were 
threatened with being compelled to go to work ; the Manchu 
gentry and nobility saw that Manchu ascendancy was 
threatened ; the imperial clansmen and princes of blood 
saw the foundations of the Manchu throne endangered ; 
and the empress dowager saw her own life in peril, and the 
reversal of all that ; had been gained in her forty years of 
rule, which, bloodstained though it might be, corrupt though 
it was, was yet based on sound and statesmanlike principles. 
With such support and such opposition any reform move- 
ment must have come to naught, however well intentioned, 
and however noble its principles. 

§ 28. Foreign opinion, so far as expressed, has generally 
approved the projects of Kang Yu-wei, but condemned 
his precipitancy. The French historian says — " The great 
fault of the reformers was to seek to transform China in too 
short a period, to take in hand at the same time all the 
machinery of government, to strike at one time in all abuses. 
... In Japan there was a feudal system to crush, but not 
the traditions of centuries to overturn. "[83] An American 
writer laments that " there was so little appreciation on 
the part of foreign powers of the nature of the crisis " ; 
he deplored the fact that help from the British or American 
envoy was not available — " and a golden, a priceless, 
opportunity was thrown away ; it became the fashion to 
speak of this great crisis as a 4 Manchu family quarrel,' 
with which foreigners had no concern." [84] But another 
American writer sums up the situation thus — " The young 
emperor showed himself an apt pupil, issuing a series of 
reformatory edicts, which alarmed th? conservatives and 
provoked a reaction. "[85] The empress dowager's bio- 
graphers give her ,yiew in these words : 

" Kwanghsli's reign was over ; there remained to him only the 
imperial title. He had had his chance ; in the enthusiasm of youth 
and new ideas he had played a desperate game against the powers of 
darkness in high places, and he had lost. . . . Tzehi had given her 
nephew a free hand, she had retired from the field, leaving him to 
steer the snip of State ; if he had now steered it into troublous and 

[83] Cordier, " Relations," iii, p. 413. 

[84] Smith, " China in Convulsion," i, p. 150. 

[85] Martin, " The Awakening of China," p. 172. 


dangerous seas, if, by common consent, she were again called to take 
the helm, this was the doing of Heaven and no fault of hers. "[86] 

The foreign press in China sympathised with the 
reformers — " The reformers' plan was too precipitate and 
dangerous, needing at every step the courage of a strong 
man . . . the hesitation of Yuen Shih-kai overwhelmed 
them in defeat and death. . . . Reform in China is not 
dead. A huge family quarrel has overshadowed it, but it 
is yet very much alive. "[87] And again — " The blood 
of the martyrs will be the seed of the new China. "[88] 
Finally, the firm and constant friend of China during half 
a century of administration, expressed his opinion, in 
a letter not intended for the public eye, thus — " The 
emperor's head was set in the right direction, but his 
advisers, Kang Yu : wei and others, had had no experience 
of work, and they simply killed Progress with kindness — 
they stuffed it, against its powers of assimilating and 
digesting, with food enough in three months for three times 
as many years ; so it is killed for the present, but it will 
have its proper representatives to the front again later 

[86] Bland and Backhouse, " China under the Empress Dowager," 
p. 211. 

[87] North-China Herald, Oct. 10th, 1898. 

[88] Ibid., Nov. 14th. 1898. 

[89] R. Hart to H. B. Morse, Oct. 24th, 1898. 



1.- Commercial developments during 1899 . 

2. Characteristics of Hunan and the Hunanese 

3. Hunan opened to foreign trade and missions 

4. Official status granted to R. C. missionaries 

5. Feeling of unrest general in all provinces . 

6. Conditions in Chekiang during 1899 

7. Conditions in Fukien .... 

8. Conditions in Kwangtung and Kwangsi . 

9. Conditions in Yunnan and Kweichow 

10. Conditions in Szechwan 

11. Conditions in Kansu, Sinkiang and Shensi 

12. Conditions in Hupeh and Kiangsi . 

13. Conditions in Anhwei and Kiangsu 

14. Conditions in Manchuria and Chihli 

15. Unrest intensified by resistance to German and Italian 

aggression ..... 

16. Unrest further intensified by mission of Kangyi 

17. Rivalry between Junglu and Prince Ching 

18. Anti-foreign attitude of Shantung . 

19. German action to restrain anti-German offences 

20. Chinese threat of action : converts endangered 

21. Organisation of the Boxer society . 

22. Boxers supported by sympathy of officials 

23. Increasing activity of Boxers 

24. Murder of Mr. S. M. Brooks, Dec. 31st, 1899 . 

25. Re .ponsibility of Yuhsien for rise of Boxers . 

26. Yuhsien replaced as governor by Yuen Shih-kai 

27. First attempts to depose the emperor . 

28. Continuation of the agitation 

29. Puchiin selected heir'presumptive to Tungchih, Jan. 24, 1900 

30. Emperor not deposed but eliminated ; decision postponed 

31. Ominous decree encouraging Boxers, Jan. 11, 1900 

32. Encouragement increased by honour to Yuhsien 

33. Legations demand suppression of Boxer Society 

34. Conduct of Yuen Shih-kai as governor . 

35. Punishments and honours for Chinese officials 

36. General unrest throughout the empire . 

37. Pacifying assurances of German newspapers 

38. Note of warning on anti-foreign rising . 





§ 1. The year 1898 ended with affairs in, a " ticklish " 
state [1] ; but some progress was made in the commercial 
concessions which had been obtained by the British envoy, 
not especially for British interests*, but for the general 
good. [2] Regulations for the control of steam navigation 
in inland waters were issued promptly, [3] and undei 4 those 
rules steamers began a traffic which developed to large 
proportions ; the^e were generally steam launches, some- 
times laden with cargo, sometimes towing native cargo- 
boats ; but steamers of considerable size, plying to non- 
treaty ports, came under the rules. On the whole there 
was little friction, but occasionally disturbances were 
created, sometimes fomented by likin officials whose profits 
were interfered with, sometimes created by junk men who 
resented being hustled into new and more speedy habits. 
Of the Jat/ter kind, though possibly intensified by the famine 
then prevailing in northern Kiangsu, were disturbances in 
March, 1899, at Chinkiang, where incendiarism was alarm- 
ingly frequent, [4] and at Yahgchow, where ant-i-foreign 
placards appeared and crowds assembled to search for a 
lost child, declared to have been kidnapped.{5] China 
had conceded the opening of Nanning and Siangtan (for 
which Yochow was substituted) ; the opening of Talienwan 
had been demanded, but Russia had intervened ; arid 
Tsingtau (the port of Kiaochow) had been appropriated 
by Germany. Warned by these events, China now hastened 
to place other ports under the protection of a quasi-inter- 
national guarantee by giving them the status of treaty 
port : Chinwangtao, an ice-free port midway between the 
ice-bound ports of Tientsin and, Newchwang ; Santuao, of 
no commercial value, but offering a tempting naval station 
to any acquisitive power ; and Nanking, the former capital 
of the empire, the opening of which was stipulated in the 
French treaty of 1858.[6] 

§ 2. Theprovinceof Hunan, in which Yochow is situated, 

[1] " The times are too ticklish to go in for adventures even on our 
own ground, and caution and discretion are everywhere necessary." — 
R. Hart to H. B. Morse, Oct. 24th, 1898. 

[2] Cf. chap, v, § 28. 

[3] I.G. circ, April 29th, 1898. 

[4] North-China Herald, March 13th, 1899. 

[5] Ibid., March 20th, 1899. Gf. " Submission," chap, xi, §§ 9, 10. 

[6] Cf. " Conflict," chap, xxiv, § 7. 


had for forty years dominated the empire. Its men had 
saved the dynasty from being overwhelmed by the Taiping 
rebellion, and had not allowed the court or the imperial 
ministers to forget their obligations [7] ; and for three- 
fourths of the period its soldiers had furnished the lighting 
point to China's military spear. After the province was 
over-run by the rebels and while the imperial authority 
was in abeyance, the government was administered and 
the taxes collected by local committees of the gentry; 
and, with the restoration of imperial authority, the system 
was continued and gave to every magistrate and every 
tax collector, aliens all, a local consulting committee, whose 
advice they could not refuse to accept. Even the centra), 
provincial administration, alien to the province, dared not 
oppose the considered opinion of the gentry, strengthened 
by the support of the Hunanese officials holding office in 
Peking and in every province, and of the retired officials 
who had returned with their large fortunes to their Hunan 
homes. As a result the administration was more efficient 
and less corrupt than in any other province in China ; 
the likin collection was more simplified and less burden- 
some ; and the difference between what the people paid 
and the treasury received did not reach such large dimen- 
sions. [8] With, and largely because of, this excellence of 
administration, the province had retained all of the old 
hostility to foreigners. No missionary had been per- 
mitted to dwell within its bo, lers ; none had " itinerated " 
there without great risk of being hustled and maltreated ; 
and as late as April, 1899, one was stoned while on his 
return to his boat from an official visit to the Fu of Yocho w. 
§ 3. There has commonly been in the legations a dis- 
position to recognise the genuine difficulties of the Chinese 
administration, and the exceptional difficulties in the 
way of forcing an entrance into Hunan were obvious. [9] 

[7] Hunan provided a succession of three administrators, held in high 
esteem by the Chinese : Tseng Kwo-fan, Tso Tsung-tang and Liu Kun-yi. 

[8] Report by H. B. Morse to Sir R. Hart, Nov. 25th, 1899, printed in 
" Yochow," Shanghai, Stat. Dept. of I.G. of Customs, 1900. 

[9] " If you keep your family out with you, I can give you Tientsin ; 
if you send them home, and remain out alone, ten to one you will be 
selected to open Yochow and nurse it through its initial stages. The 
Hukwang authorities are very anxious to have an experienced, reasonable, 
and common-sense man for the post of commissioner there — a post which 
will have its difficulties and discomforts, and too important, seeing that 


As a preliminary step Yochow was substituted for Siangtan 
as the point of entry, in order to conciliate Hunan opinion. 
Yochow was the threshold of the province, a place of small 
commercial importance, but past its portals flowed nine- 
tenths of the stream of Hunan traffic, while Siangtan, a 
large trading mart in the heart of the province, was in- 
accessible in the winter to boats drawing more than three 
feet. The compromise contented both sides, while it 
satisfied neither ; it was accepted on the one side because 
it gave an entering wedge, and on the other because for a 
time it held the intrusive foreigner at arm's length. The 
delegate sent to arrange the opening was specially guarded 
against the happening of untoward accidents, and had 
behind him the active support of the Peking administra- 
tion and of the viceroy at Wuchang, Chang Chih-tung ; 
but the chief part of his mission was to convince the officials 
and people of Hunan that the proposed opening would not 
be an injury, and to meet their objections and fears in so 
far as it would not defeat the intention of the government. 
During six months he held many conferences with the 
governor and his representatives, with officials who came 
to him from various places, with delegations of the gentry 
from many parts of the province, and with such merchants 
as he could meet ; and, after the opening of the port on 
November 13th, 1899, he felt justified in writing : 

" For a third of a century Hunan had steadily resisted the 
entering c>f the wedge which should open up her resources and her 
commerce to foreign enterprise ; the wedge has now been admitted, 
and, while the cry is still, ' Hunan for the Hunanese,' there are distinct 
evidences that the concession has been granted in no grudging spirit. 
This, too, is not solely a change of attitude on the part of the officials. 
For years past the people would have no intercourse with foreigners i 
and now, during the current year the testimony of foreign official** 
missionaries, and merchants alike shows the friendly attitude of the 
people of Yochow ; while one [Rev. Griffith John] who has mode 
Hunan his study for a quarter of a century has publicly recorded his 
conviction that a distinct change has come over the spirit of the 
Hunanese in general, but he adds his belief that they must be treated 
as men."[10\f 

there is the Hunan feeling to be kept in mind, for any youngster, or faddish 
person, to be sent to." — R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Feb. 8th, 1899. 

Mr. Drew was in the end appointed to Tientsin, and the author, while 
titular commissioner of customs at Hankow, was delegated to make the 
arrangements for opening Hunan to foreign trade. 

[10] H. B. Morse, report on Yochow, Customs Annual Reports, 1899. 
As late as May 23rd, 1 900, the Rev. Griffith John reported that the complete 


§ 4. The antagonism manifested everywhere against 
missionaries and their work [11] attracted the attention of 
the administration. In 1871, after the Tientsin massacre, 
China had made proposals tending to place the missionaries 
under more perfect control, and they had been approved 
in principle, but were severely criticised in detail. [12] In 
1886 an attempt had been made to take the Roman Catholic 
missions out of politics, by asking the Pope to send a legate 
to act as his representative and their head ; but France 
interposed her veto and demanded a continuation of her 
old-time right of protection. [13] On March 15th, 1899, 
an imperial decree was issued giving official status to 
missionaries. Bishops were assimilated to viceroys and 
governors, and were entitled to visit and correspond with 
them on equal terms ; archdeacons and deans to the 
sze-tai (fantai, niehtai, taotai) ; and ordinary missionaries 
to fu and hien ; the bishops were to send to the officials 
lists of those under them, and missionaries were not to 
intervene in cases before the courts. [14] The last clause 
presented China's claim to redress a real grievance. On 
the official status it may be noted that consuls in China 
are not merely commercial agents, but represent their 
government and exercise executive and judicial functions ; 
they are in civil and criminal matters the official superiors 
of all missionaries ; but, while by later practice they 
correspond on terms of equality with viceroys, their official 
status is declared by the treaties of 1858 to be equal to 
that of taotai. The British government at once directed 
its envoy to inform the Chinese ministers that, "where 
bishops and priests of British nationality are concerned, 
H.M. government cannot allow their affairs to be subject 
to the intervention of the* officials of any government other 
than the British government " [15] ; and Germany.had in 
1897 taken the same attitude. The decree dealt in words 

transformation of the Hunanese into friendliness still continued.- — North- 
China Herald, June 6th, 1900. 

[11] Cf. chap, ii, § 36 ; chap, vi, § 25. 

[12] Cf. " Submission," chap, xii, § 22. 

[13] North-China Herald, Oct. 27th, 1886 ; Michie, " The Englishman 
in China," ii, p. 344. 

[14] Mr. Bax-Ironside to Lord Salisbury, April 27th, 1899, China, 
No. 1, 1900, p. 141 ; North-China Herald, May 22nd, 1899. 

[15] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Bax-Ironside, June 20th ; Mr. Bax-Ironsidf 
to Lord Salisbury, Aug. 16th, 1899 ; China, No. 1, 1900, pp. 149, 323. 


only with the Roman Catholic missions, but other missions 
were of course entitled to equal privileges ; these privileges 
were promptly claimed by the former, and unanimously 
rejected by the Protestant missions. 

§ 5. During the year 1899 in Hunan alone there were 
no disturbances, but elsewhere throughout the empire 
there was distress and commotion. In some districts risings 
were anti- dynastic, in others anti-foreign, in others especi- 
ally directed against the missionaries ; in some they arose 
from a rebellious spirit, in others from hostility to foreigners, 
and in others the exciting cause was scarcity of food. 
In 1898 there had been floods from the Yellow River, 
and in consequence Li Hung-chang had been appointed 
to the revived post of Director General of the Yellow 
River ; he went to the scene and reported that a complete 
scheme of conservancy would cost Tls. 40,000,000, while 
a palliative scheme could be carried out for half that 
amount ; . the magnitude of the sum required killed all 
such plans. The resulting distress was great, and, as 
usual, the foreign residents in China contributed gener- 
ously ■; the relief fund at Shanghai amounted at one stage 
to $24,219,[16] and that at Chinkiang to $3898.[17] 
These sums were a mere drop in the bucket ; in March 
in northern Kiangsu "the people were pallid ghosts," and 
children, especially female children, were sold to rescue 
them from starvation at prices ranging from 50 to 1000 
cash (1 to 20 pence) each [18] ; and there was the usual 
cry of " kidnappers. "[19] In some other districts there 
was also distress, but more commonly risings were due to 
the feelings of the people. 

§ 6. In Chekiang it was reported from Wenchow in 
March that anti-foreign rumours were circulating and that 
Chinese converts to -Christianity were being persecuted. [20] 
In Shaohingfu and Ningpofu there had been rice riots in 
1898, occasioned by bad harvests, and these were renewed 
in October, 1899. [21] At Taipinghien in Taichowfu there 

[16] North-China Herald, March 2 7th, 1899. 

[17] Ibid., June 26th, 1899. 

[18] Ibid., March 20th, 1899. 

[19] Cf. antea, n. 5. 

[20] Corresp. Wenchow, March 24th, North-China Herald. April 3rd, 

[21] Ibid., Oct. 23rd, 1899. 

Ill— 11 


was serious rioting in June. This was a manifestation of 
a state of feud between Roman Catholic and Protestant 
converts, and the heavy artillery of the heads of the respec- 
tive missions was brought into action with charge and 
countercharge ; but it soon assumed a more serious aspect 
in getting mixed up with two other factors. In May the 
threatening attitude of Italy in demanding a naval station 
on the coast of Chekiang led to the issue of an imperial 
decree ordering the authorities of the five provinces of the 
Liangkiang and Minche viceroyalties to put their forces 
on a war footing and to take such steps as might be neces- 
sary to defend Sanmen Bay from aggression [22] ; and this 
stimulated the patriotic feelings of the people at large. 
Moreover a general state of disorder naturally attracted 
all the disorderly elements, and the whole prefecture was 
soon in a state of rebellion which lasted into the next 
year. In July the rioters successfully resisted the troops, 
and in August a mob overawed the troops so that they 
were afraid to advance. [23] 

§ 7. In Fiikien it was reported from Hinghwa in 
March that the situation was becoming more critical 
every day ; that secret associations under the titles of 
" The Gun Society " and " The Sword Society " had been 
formed ; that there were daily highway robberies, which 
the officials were powerless to check ; that the majority of 
the population were organised for rebellion against the 
existing government, and made no secret of their inten- 
tions ; but that so far the movement was not anti- 
foreign. [24] A year later the same centre reported that, 
owing to scarcity of food, there were many robberies and 
much disorder. [25] At Kienning in June, 1899, in a serious 
riot, mission premises were plundered and burned, seven 
converts were killed, and three English missionaries,- at 
first reported killed, barely escaped with their lives ; it 
was stated that the ajnti- foreign feeling was general in the 
district, and that " native Christians were to be hunted 
down like wild beasts " [26] ; it was further reported that 

[22] Imp. dec. May 26th, ibid'., May 29th, 1899. 

[23] Ibid., June 12th, 1899 and later dates. Cf. " The Trade and 
Administration of China," 2nd ed., Appendix D. 
f24] North-China Herald, April 10th, 1899. 
[25] Ibid., Jan. 24th, 1900. 
[26] Ibid., June 19th, 26th, July 10th, 1800 


vagabonds in Foochow were spreading rumours of foreign 
missionaries kidnapping children and extracting their 
brains, eyes, etc. "[27] The British authorities exercised 
diplomatic pressure and " the Kienning notables signed a 
bond undertaking responsibility for the safety of the mis- 
sionaries. "[28] At Amoy in August there was a riot 
directed against the Japanese. [29] 

§ 8. The Canton provinces (Liangkwang) had been 
hard hit by the wave of reaction against reform, and the 
resentment of the people was correspondingly great. 
Their feeling was fairly expressed in an article in a Canton 
vernacular paper, [30] in which it was stated — 

" that foreign nations were all greedy and were preparing to cut up 
the Chinese melon : Russia had taken Port Arthur and Talienwan, 
and had 25,000 troops stationed in Manchuria ; England had 
practical possession of the Yangtze basin, comprising seven provinces ; 
Germany had taken Kiaochow and claimed all Shantung as her 
sphere of influence, while she was reaching out towards Honan ; 
France had occupied Kwangchow-wan, but her hidden and fixed 
purpose was to get full possession of Kwangtung, Kwangsi, Yunnan 
and Kweichow ;■/ Japan had Formosa and was now reaching out for 
Fukien ; and China must be on the alert and reform herself and must 
guard herself against aggression." 

During the Italian scare a British man-of-war was fired 
on by the Bogue forts in mistake for an. Italian [31] ; but 
in general the animus of the Cantonese was against the 
Manchu administration and not against foreigners, though 
in November French officers were killed by a mob in the 
vicinity of Kwangchow-wan. In Kwangsi the rebellion 
started in 1898 continued to over-run the province. In 
Kwangtung a serious rebellion broke out in the summer 
at Saikiu, so considerable that the veteran Liu Yung-fu 
was sent against it with a force of 3500 men and 8 guns [32] ; 
it was finally suppressed, on cheap terms, by taking the 
leader into the imperial service and giving him command 
of a company of 100 men. [33] Generally in Kwangtung 
a state of disorder leads to wide-spread water-way robbery, 
commonly characterised as piracy. In February this 

[27] Mr. Bax-Ironside to Lord Salisbury, July 10th, 1899, China, 
No. 1, 1900, p. 257. 

[28] Same to same, Oct. 20th, 1899, ibid., p. 384. 

[29] North-China Herald, Sept. 4th, 1899. 

[30] Trans, in ibid., Dec. 4th, 1899. [32] Ibid., Aug. 28th, 1899. 

[31] Ibid., July 10th, 1899. [33] Ibid., Dec. 11th, 1899. 


piracy was so prevalent as to call for a " forcible representa- 
tion and vigorous protest " from the governor of Hong- 
kong [34] ; it continued unbroken, and ultimately the 
British naval forces co-operated with the Cantonese in 
patrolling the inland waters of the Canton delta, so as to 
free the trade of Hongkong from this incubus. [35] 

§ 9. In Yunnan the intentions of the French created 
a sense of unrest and disquiet, and this developed' into 
hostile acts. Early in the year it was reported from 
Chaotungfu, in the north-eastern corner, that e ' the ferment, 
so general now, is spreading to this province. "[36] Else- 
where in the province the hostility was directed especially 
against the French. At Mengtze on June 22nd the French 
consulate was burned and plundered by a band from the 
country-side, its occupants barely escaping for shelter to 
the walled city [37] ; the premises of the customs and 
their occupants shared the same fortune, but the leader of 
the band sent in a message of regret, explaining that his 
followers had mistaken the buildings for those of the con- 
sulate. [38] At Yunnanfu in August there was an anti- 
French riot, and placards were posted calling upon the 
patriotic to rise against the foreigners ; French railway 
engineers, occupying lodgings in a temple, were driven 
out. [39] In Kweichow in October there was an armed 
rising in Jenhwaihien, in which the district magistrate was 
murdered. Apart from this, the chief interest attaches to 
the proceedings in the case of the murder of Mr. Fleming, 
an English missionary. The murder occurred in November, 
1898, and evidence was obtained indicating that high 
officials of the province had been guilty of connivance, or at 
least of negligence. A British consul was sent to Kweiyang, 
the provincial capital, and after three months of investiga- 
tion and negotiation, it was reported that the actual 
murderers had, after conviction, been punished according 

[34] Sir H. A. Blake to Mr. Chamberlain, March 2nd, 1899, China, 
No. 1, 1900, p. 68. 

[35] Admiralty to Foreign Office, Aug. 22nd ; Mr. Bax-Ironside to 
Lord Salisbury, Aug. 25th ; same to same, Sept. 8th ; Foreign Office to 
Colonial Office, Nov. 25th, 1899 ; ibid., pp. 265, 339, 349, 380. 

[36] North-China Herald, March 6th, 1899. 

[37] Ibid., July 3rd, 1899. 

[38] Personal statement to author by the commissioner of customs, 
Mr. W. F. Spinney. 

[39] North Cliina. Herald, Oct. 23rd, 1899. 


to law, six officials had been dismissed, three of the gentry 
had been deprived of their honours and degrees, and an 
indemnity of Tls. 22,000 was to be paid ; but the headman 
of the village of Chungan, in which the murder had been 
committed, had escaped arrest. The British policy was 
to fasten responsibility on local authorities, and the arrest 
and punishment of the headman was held to be most 
important. Proof was obtained that the governor of. the 
province had connived at his escape and continued freedom 
from arrest, and in June a demand was made for the 
governor's degradation. Repeated demands to this effect 
were refused by the Chinese ministers, but finally, in 
October, it was reported that the headman had been 
arrested, and the case was closed. [40] 

§ 10. In Szechwan a serious rebellion occurred in 1898, 
under the leadership of Yu Man-tze, a rebellion which 
was widely extended and caused much destruction. It 
had assumed large proportions in June, 1898, when the 
Roman Catholic mission at Yungchang in Chungkingfu 
was destroyed, and Pere Fleury taken prisoner and held as 
hostage. The seizure of the priest " paralysed the action 
of the provincial government," as the French government 
held it responsible for his safety. By September Yli 
Man-tze's power was greatly extended, and his emissaries 
were organising secret societies in districts riot actually 
held by him ; and in that month an imperial force was 
defeated. By the end of October there was an " alarming 
extension of the rebellion,"' the imperial troops being 
hampered by the necessity of providing for Pere Fleury' s 
safety ; but at the end of December the troops were let 
slip from their leash, one victory over the rebels was 
gained, the priest was released on January 20th, and Yu 
Man-tze surrendered. The minor leaders of the insur- 
rection were executed, but <c Yu Man-tze was . . . par- 
doned, and was merely kept under surveillance. "[41] 

[40] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury,- Doc. 9th, 1899, Jan. 28th, 
March 15th, 1899 ; Mr. Bax-Ironside to same, Ma>»4th, June 9th, Oct. 6th ; 
Lord Salisbury to Mr. Bax-Ironside, Sept. 15th, 1899 ; China, No. 1, 1900, 
pp. 4, 45, 96, 108, 208, 294, 373. 

[41] Summary on Yu" Man-tze outbreak, Mr. Bax-Ironside to Lord 
Salisbury, May 13th, 1899, ibid., p. 151 ; North-China Herald, Jan. 9th, 
23rd, 30th, 1899. 

In January the Telegraph administration notified that, telegrams 


The transaction suggests the inference that silver bullets 
played as great a part in the suppression as lead. In May 
Yu Man-tze again raised the standard of rebellion and 
gathered the malcontents around him. [42] Again he was 
" suppressed " ; and again, in July, there was another 
rising at Tachu, in which many converts were killed. [43] 
Yu Man-tze had again been put under surveillance, but 
in August he was arrested ; and, as a protest, his fellow 
townsmen rose in rebellion. [44] There was at the same 
time another rising in Chuentung, in eastern Szechwan, 
the rebels plundering at will [45] ; and another in Shun- 
kingfu, in which the mission was destroyed, but the mis- 
sionaries escaped, being given shelter by the Fu.[46] 
In October disquieting rumours circulated in the tea-shops 
of Weihien that the foreigners were poisoning the wells [47] ; 
and the same rumours were prevalent in Shihnanfu in 
Hupeh.[48] Towards the end of the year the Kolaohwei 
was reported to be occupying by force four districts in 
eastern Szechwan, bordering on Hupeh.[49] 

§ 11. In March it was reported that a Mohammedan 
rebellion had broken out in Kansu, and that there was 
much unrest in Sinkiang ; a jehad was proclaimed, and 
the rebels raised the war-cry of " death to Buddhists. "[50] 
The unrest in Sinkiang (Chinese Turkestan) developed into 
a rebellion in the following month. [51] From Shensi 
it was reported at the end of 1898 that in Sanyuen there 
was a " great conspiracy to exterminate foreigners " [52] ; 
and, in October, 1899, that " the departure of the governor 
had given the secret societies another opportunity to 
proclaim their intention to rebel and to attack mission 
premises. "[53] 

from Chungking were " delayed for destroying the poles by mobs in the 
section of Luchow station." — Ibid., Jan. 9th, 1899. 

[42] North-China Herald, May 1 3th, 1899. 

[43] Ibid., July 17th, 1899. 

[44] Ibid., Aug. 28th, 1899. 

[45] Ibid. 

[46] Ibid., Sept. 4th, 1899. 

[47] Ibid., Oct. 9th, 1899. 

[48] Ibid., Oct. 23rd, 1899. 

[49] Ibid., Dec. 4th, 1899. 

[50] Ibid., March 27th, 1899. 

[51] Ibid., April 24th, 1899. 

[52] Corresp. Sanyuen, Dec. 28th, North-China Herald, Feb. 6th, 1899. 

[53] Same. Oct. 25th, ibid., Dec. 4th, 1899. 


§ 12. Hupeh was infected by adjoining Szechwan, and 
a rebellion was reported there at the end of 1898. [54] Its 
suppression was taken in hand, and in February f° ur men 
were executed at Ichang for offences committed at Chang- 
yang, south of Ichang ; the country was reported to be 
quieter, but rumours were prevalent. [5 5] In March there 
were more executions for rebellion at Changlo, further 
south, still more for rebellion to the west, and at the end of 
the month still more. [56] In April trouble broke out in 
Shihnanfu,[57] in June at Anlufu, in central Hupeh .[58] ; 
and in July there was another rebellious outbreak at 
Changyang, especially directed against missions. [59] In 
September at Hingkwochow, south-east from Wuchang, 
a spirit of hostility against foreigners was manifested, and 
the people cried " kill the foreign devils. "[60] At the 
end of September it was reported that the rebellion in 
south-western Hupeh, suppressed in the spring, was, it 
was planned, to break out again in the spring of 1900 with 
renewed vigour ; no mercy was to be shown to foreigners 
or those connected with them ; and Nanking was to 
be made the capital of the empire [61] ; and, in fact, the 
year 1900 opened in Hupeh with " the Kolaohwei very 
active. "[62] In the adjoining province of Kiaugsi there 
was reference in February to " the prevailing unrest " 
at Wusiieh on the Yangtze. [63] In June at the capital, 
Nanchang, there was an anti-missionary riot on the 21st, 
and the 26th was announced as the date on which all 
foreigners were to be expelled from the city. [64] In 
October there was a riot at Hokow, in Kwangsinfu, in which 
the China Inland mission premises were destroyed [65] ; 
and in Jaochowfu there was a general rising against the 
Roman Catholics, their mission being destroyed and the 
priests being compelled to flee.[66] In December there 

[54] Imp. decree addressed to Liu Kun-yi, ibid., Jan. 30th, 1899. 

[55] Ibid., March 13th, 1899. 

[56] Ibid., March 27th, April 3rd, 10th, 1899. 

[57] Ibid., May 1st, 1899. 

1 58] Ibid., July 17th, 1899. 

[59] Ibid., Aug. 7th, 1899. 

[60] Ibid., Sept. 11th, 1899. 

[61] Corresp. Ichang, Sept. 29th, ibid., Oct. 9th, 1899. 

[62] Same, Jan. 15th, ibid., Jan. 30th, 1900. 

[63] Ibid., Feb. 20th, 1899. [65] Ibid., Oct. 9th, 1899. 

£64] Ibid.,.J;uly 3rd, 10th, 1899. [66] Ibid., Oct. 16th, 1899. 


was a "formidable rebellion " in Pingsiang, extending 
across the border into Hunan, to suppress which required 
the despatch of a force of 6000 troops. [67] 

§ 13. In Anhvvei and northern Kiangsu there was wide- 
spread rebellion, occasioned to some extent by the distress 
following the inundations of the Yellow River. [68] In 
January reference was made to " the rebels of Hsiichowfu 
[Kiangsu] and Huyang [Anhwei], one a hundred miles from 
the other. "[69] In February the rebels of Anhwei were 
" working towards the north, "[70] that is into Honan ; 
and the rebellion in northern Kiangsu was "only partially 
checked. "[71] In March there was general panic in 
northern Anhwei, caused by fear of the rebels [72] ; and 
at Yangchow in Kiangsu there were fears of riots, and the 
Kolaohwei and Tataohwei were holding secret meetings 
to organise rebellion. [73] In April the Anhwei rebellion 
was said, to have been quieted [74] ; but in the following 
January, encouraged by the success of the Tataohwei 
(" Great Swords ") in Shantung, a society called the 
Siaotaohwei (" Small Swords ") was formed in Anhwei, 
with the avowed object of " plundering converts and men 
of wealth," and several raids were made by them. [75] 

§ 14. In Manchuria there was one disturbance occa- 
sioned directly by the action of the Russian authorities 
at Port Arthur. They had assumed the right of levying 
the land tax, inherent in Chinese sovereignty, in the neutral 
territory which had been reserved to Chinese jurisdiction ; 
and a body of peasants, inhabitants of the territory, who 
had assembled unarmed to present a humble petition of 
protest, had been met by Cossacks and shot down ; the 
Russians suffered of course no loss, and of the Chinese 
peasants there were reported 94 killed and 123 wounded, 
among them many women and children. [76] Russia- 
ultimately agreed to pay Tls. 700 compensation for each 

[071 Corresp. Ichang, Dec. 18th, 1899. 

[08] Imp. .decree addressed to Liu Kun-yi, in ibid., Jan. 30th, 1899. 

[09] Ibid., Jan. 23rd. 1899. 

[70] Ibid., Feb. 9th, 1899. 

[71] Ibid., Feb. 20th. 1899. 

[72] Ibid., March 13th, 1899. 

[73] Ibid., March 20th, 1899. 

[74] Corresp. Kuyang, April 15th, ibid.. May 15th, 1899. 

[75] Ibid., Jan. 24th, 1900. 

[76] Ibid.. March 13th, 1899. 


of those killed, and proportionate sums for the wounded. [77] 
No further action followed on either side, but Chinese love 
of the foreigner was not increased ; and China was called 
upon at this time to " deny the right of England and 
Russia to enter upon an agreement delimiting their spheres 
of influence, on the ground that China is an independent 
empire. "[78] Elsewhere throughout Manchuria lawless- 
ness was rife, and the country was over-run by troops of 
mounted bandits, [79] known in later years as Hunghutze 
or Chunchutze.[80] Just across the border in Chihij, 
Nanpiao was described as a " brigand stronghold," one- 
sixth of the population being active members of the 
brigand fraternity, most of the others being aiders and 
abettors ; and from this centre an area of 2000 square 
miles was terrorised. [81] The numerous and continuous 
disturbances in Southern Chihli were directly connected 
with the state of Shantung, which will be considered later. 
§ 15. In every province in the empire there had been 
unrest, riots, or rebellion, through the whole of 1899, and 
continuing into 1900 ; mission stations had been attacked 
in every province, and railway engineers in Yunnan and 
Shantung, the only classes of foreigners who were not 
ordinarily in the shelter of the treaty ports ; and in many 
provinces the discontent had taken the form of rebellion 
against the existing government. Through all this state 
of uneasiness ran two threads of fear, dread of the doings 
of the Germans in Shantung, and dread of the aims of 
Italy along the coast of mid- China, both inspiring deep 
distrust of all foreigners. In March the Italian fleet in 
Chinese waters consisted of four cruisers of 14,351 tons, 
carrying 110 guns, and two more cruisers were on the 
way, [82] to support her claims. [83] Italy had never in 
China been considered to be one of the great powers, and 
it seemed to the Chinese, ministers and people alike, that 
" the Italians were utterly unreasonable in their action — 

[77] Corresp. Kuyang, June 12th, 1899. 

[78] Ibid. ; cf. chap, iv, § 26, chap, v, § 25. 

[791 North-China Herald, June 5th, Dec. 4th, 1899. 

[80] " Red-beards." Chunchutze [Khunkhutze] is the Russian trans- 
literation, like Kharbin for Harbin. 

[81] Mr. Sidney Barton, " Report on the brigandage on the south- 
western frontier of Manchuria, 1899," China. No.' 1, 1900, p. 374. 

[82] North-China Herald, March 13th, 1899. 

[83] Cf. chap, v, § 29. 


they did not even wait for a missionary to be killed before 
demanding a naval station. "[84] Resistance was decided 
on. In May the viceroys and governors of the five provinces 
in the Liangkiang and Minche viceroyalties were " ordered 
to put their forces on a war footing owing to the menacing 
attitude of Italy and Germany," and the Chekiang authori- 
ties were ordered to take active steps to protect Sanmen 
Bay [85] ; and in June a further decree ordered Liu Kun-yi, 
as Nanyang Tachen, to resist by force any landing of armed 
troops of European powers in his jurisdiction, and he was 
given " full powers " for the purpose. [86] Preparations 
for resistance continued through the year [87] ; and the 
country, already aflame with rebellion and anti-foreign 
riots, was fanned into a blaze of hostility to foreign aggres- 
sion. The administration was also stirred to a feeling of 
elation ; in the spring it was reported to be " confident of 
its ability to meet force with force " [88] ; and at the end 
of November orders were sent to all viceroys and governors, 
granting them V full power and liberty to resist by force 
of arms all aggression upon your several jurisdictions, pro- 
claiming a state of war, if necessary, without first asking 
for instructions from Peking " ; and they were to be " held 
responsible for any repetition of indecision or too great 
trustfulness in the assurances of an encroaching enemy, 
such as had happened in 1897 at Kiaochow."[89] 

§ 16. During this agitated period, the empire was 
stirred against the dynasty by steps taken to fill the 
exhausted treasury. In May. Kangyi, assistant Grand 
Secretary and president of the ministry of War, was 
appointed High Commissioner and deputed to hold an 
investigation generally into the conduct of all officials in 
Kiangsu, and more especially into that of the viceroy 
Liu Kun-yi.[90] Kangyi was a Manchu of the Manchus, 

[84] Corresp. Peking, March 20th, North-China Herald, April 3rd, 1899. 

[85] Imp. decree May 26th, ibid., May 29th, 1899. 

[86] Imp. decree June 5th, ibid., June 12th, 1899. 

[87] Ibid., Nov. 13th, Dec. 4th, 1899. 

[88] Ibid., May 1st, 1899. 

[89] Secret edict of empress dowager, circular despatch of Tsungli 
Yamen, Nov. 21st, 1^899, in Mr. Conger to Mr. John Hay, Jan. 2nd, 1900, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1900»p. 84.. 

[90] Imp. decree May 21st, North-China Herald, May 20th, 1899 ; 
Mr. Bax-Ironside to Lord Salisbury, July 10th, 1899, China, No. 1, 1900, 
p. 256. 


had taken a prominent part in the anti-reform reaction of 
the previous year, and was intensely anti-foreign and 
against all change. [91] His mission was threefold : its 
ostensible purpose was that of investigation ; then, to 
meet the deficit in the imperial exchequer, estimated at 
twenty million taels, he was to find means to increase the 
provincial assessments from their present amount of 
eighty million to at least a hundred million ; and, most 
important of all, the empress dowager needed money, 
much money, to strengthen her position against the 
reform party, and Kangyi was sent to get it. [92] The 
" Lord High Extortioner,'' as the foreign press termed him, 
found the money. Liu Kun-yi was sagacious enough 
to go straight to the fountain head and arrange matters 
directly with the empress dowager, and Kangyi received 
but a cool reception from him ; but from the other officials 
in Kiangsu alone he obtained increased annual contribu- 
tions amounting to two million taels. which was " just upon 
50 per cent, more than has hitherto been remitted. "[93] 
His commission was extended and he visited in turn Kiangsi, 
Anhwei, Chekiang and Kwangtung ; in the five provinces 
44 the work that Kangyi has done in stopping extortions 
and turning to the imperial exchequer funds which would 
otherwise have gone to fill the pockets of provincial 
officials," was declared by the empress dowager to have 
been " indeed commendable and practical. "[94] From 
these five provinces he must have obtained an increase 
of at least five million taels annually in the provincial 
contributions to the treasury. Moreover, being armed 
with the fullest powers, [95] he cannot have failed to take 
back to the empress dowager many millions of taels as a 
special mark of loyalty and affection from the donors ; 
and so worthy an exponent of the traditions of Manchu 

[91] " Kangyi's rabid hatred of foreigners is likely to land the empire 
before long in some disastrous predicament." — Corresp. Peking, North- 
China Herald, Jan. 16th, 1899. 

" Kangyi is an utterly ignorant old Bourbon ; after many years in office 
he has learned nothing." — Ibid., Aug. 21st, 1899. 

[92] Ibid., Aug. 14th, 1899. 

[93] Mr. S. F. Mayers, " Report on the Mission of Kangyi to Kiangnan," 
Aug. 29th, 1899, China, No. 1, 1900, p. 350. 

[94] Imp. decree, Aug. 13th, North-China Herald, Aug. 21st, 1899. 

[95] A second imp. decree of Aug. 13th gives honours and promotion 
to several officials recommended by Kangyi, and cashiers several others 
denounced by him. — Ibid., Aug. 21st, 1899- 


and Chinese mandarindom may be trusted to have rewarded 
himself adequately for his exertions. In Manchuria, Li 
Ping-heng, who had been cashiered in January, 1898, on 
the demand of Germany, was appointed High Commissioner 
for the same purpose, and Chihli was also taken in hand ; 
at Tientsin the directors of the Kaiping Mines were required 
to pay Tls. 100,000, and the customs taotai was assessed 
at Tls. 100,000 ; this official was in a cleft stick — he had 
exhausted his resources by paying a total of Tls. 450,000 
for his post only three months before, -and now offered 
Tls. 70,000 as a compromise ; but in the end he had to 
pay the amount demanded. [96] When Chinese officials 
are thus mulcted by their superiors, they do not tamely 
accept the loss as irretrievable, but pass on the assessment 
to their contributories, and, at bottom, it is the people 
who pay ; and the people of China, already sufficiently 
excited, were still further inflamed by increased levies on 
them made by the tax collectors. [97] 

§ 17. The question of the succession to the throne [98] 
was still unsettled and produced its effect on the country ; 
and party politics in Peking were embittered. The reform 
party was of course in a state of suspended animation, but 
in the party which had checked reform and recalled the 
empress dowager to the regency there were two wings. 
The moderates, the more generally supported by the 
Chinese at Peking and in the provinces, were led by Junglu, 
who was in command of all the trained Chinese troops of 
the Peiyang ; and the ultra-conservatives, composed of the 
majority of the Manchus, were led by Prince Ching, who 
was in supreme command of the Manchu Banners. Had 
it come to an armed conflict, the undisciplined Manchus 
must have gone under ; but the battle was fought by 
palace intrigue. In April, when Italy had first presented 
her demands and the Germans were adopting strong 
measures in Shantung, moderate counsels were disregarded, 
and it was observed that " the ultra-conservatives in 
Peking are now confident of their ability to meet force 

[96] Corresp. Tientsin, ibid., Aug. 7th, 1899. 

[97] " To add to the troubles of this unhappy empire Kangyi has been 
sent down to squeeze Canton province for funds and troops ; and it almost 
looks as if the empress dowager were anxious to fan the fire of rebellion, 
which is always smouldering there, into flams." — Ibid., Sept. 11th, 1899. 

[98] Cf, chap, vi, §§ 19, 24 ; postea, §§ 27-30. 


with force."[99] This .feeling of confidence gave them the 
upper hand, and by August the antagonism between the 
two leaders was bitter. [100] The empress dowager was 
not yet prepared, however, to throw her weight on one 
side : it was at this time proposed to transfer Yulu from 
Tientsin to Nanking, in succession to Liu Kun-yi who had 
asked leave to resign, and to re-appoint Li Hung-chang 
to Tientsin [101] * but the proposed changes were not made 
as they w r ere opposed by Junglu, ostensibly on the ground 
that Li Hung-chang's re-entry into public life w r ould 
alienate England, but actually because he wished to retain 
his adherent Yiilu near Peking. Nevertheless this split in 
the camp made the empress dowager realise the insecurity 
of her position and decide to postpone once again the 
deposition of the emperor. [102] The rivalry continued 
to increase in bitterness. [103] Kangyi^ on his return from 
Canton, was under orders to extend his mission to Szech- 
wan ; but, on November 12th, he hastily left Shanghai 
to return to Peking, there to use his influence against 
Junglu, to whom he was bitterly opposed. [104] Owing to 
the difficulties at Kwangchow-wan, Li Hung-chang was 
appointed acting viceroy at Canton in December. [105] 

§ 18. Skantimg shared the emotions of the empire, 
and its state during the year was. typical of the general 
feeling. In 1898 there had been serious riots against the 
missions in Ichowfu ; protecting imperial decrees and 
soothing proclamations were issued, but the kernel of the 
matter was that the Chentai had declared that he could 
not send troops to protect the missions, without a direct 
order from the governor at Tsinanfu, 200 miles away. [106] 

[99] North-China Herald, May 1st, 1899. 

[100] Tel. Peking, Aug. 23rd, ibid., Aug. 28th, 1899. 

[101] Ibid., Aug. 25th, ibid. 

[102] Ibid., Sept. 4th, 1899. 

[103] Ibid., Nov. Gth, 1899. 

[104] Ibid., Nov. 20th, 1899. 

[105] Imp. decree, Dec. 19th, ibid., Dec. 27th, 1899. Cf. postea, §'28. 

[106] Mr. W. P. Chalfant and others to Consul Fowler, Ichowfu, 
Nov. 29th : Mr. Conger to Tsungli Yamen, Dec. 20th ; Tsungli Yamen 
to Mr. Conger, Dec. 20th, 1898 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1899, p. 154. 

During this period the North-China Herald was ably served by its 
correspondents in Shantung, notably at Pangchwang in the north-west, by 
Rev. A. II. Smith, author of several noteworthy books on China, and at 
Ichowfu in southern Shantung, by Rev. W. P. Chalfant, who was afterwards 
president, first of the Chinese college at Weihien, and later of the American 
Mission Theological Seminary at Tsingchowfu. 


The state of affairs grew steadily, worse, and, " though it 
had not yet assumed the proportions of an organised 
rebellion, it was rapidly drifting in that direction " ; and 
a warning was given that the " prospective buying of land 
by German syndicates in the spring is almost sure to give, 
rise to local disturbances " [107] ; a further warning was 
given that Jihchao was " on the verge of anti-foreign 
rebellion, the gentry leading. "[108] There was now a lull 
in the anti-foreign riots, !' 4 the reason being that all who 
can be suspected of connexion with foreigners have been 
stripped of everything worth taking " [109] ; but at the 
end of February there was s renewal of " placards and 
riots against missions. "[110] While this mass of com- 
bustibles was being set alight, a party of three Germans 
prospecting on the way inland from Jihchao was, on 
March 22nd, attacked by a mob of a hundred villagers, who 
were beaten off with great difficulty. 

§ 19. The German authorities took prompt action to 
check the " anti-foreign feeling pervading the whole of 
southern Shantung " [111] ; they regarded seriously the 
'continuous and growing disturbances causing grave 
dangers to missionaries as well as to engineers " [112] ; 
and even before this assault they had despatched an armed 
force to patrol in the direction of Jihchao, and this force 
was enabled to carry retribution for two acts of violence 
against Germans. For the offence against the three 
engineers a party of 125 soldiers burned to the ground two 
villages from which the mob had come. Another body of 
125 soldiers marched to Jihchao, fifteen miles inland, to 
exact punishment for the arrest there and maltreatment 
of a German missionary, and seized the town and held 
it. [113] This produced no effect, and, after holding the 
town for six weeks, the captain in command invited the 
officials and gentry to a conference, at which he informed 
them that he intended to take five of the gentry to Tsingtau 

[107] Mr. Chalfant et al. to Consul Fowler, Dec. 26th, 1898, ibid., p. 159. 

[108] Same to same, Jan. 9th, 1899, ibid., p. 161. 

[109] Corresp. Ichowfu, Jan. 31st, North-China Herald, Feb. 20th, 

[110] Same, Feb. 25th, ibid., March 20th, 1899. 

[Ill] Ostasiatische Lloyd, Shanghai, April 5th, 1899. 

[112] Baron Heyking to Mr. Conger, March 21st, 1899, U.S. For. Rel., 
1899, p. 166. 

[113] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, April 17th, 1899, ibid., p. 168. 


as hostages to secure a settlement of the case ; there was 
great consternation and he was charged with breach of 
faith, but the captain acted on his announced intention and 
carried off the hostages. [114] The German claims were 
then settled ; reparation was made for other Roman 
Catholic losses ; but the Protestant mission claims were 
not settled until the following August. [115] 

§ 20. The Chinese government, late in the day, was 
in a bustle of preparation for resistance against aggression. 
In the first week of May Yuen Shih-kai with 5500 men, Nieh 
Titai with 7500, and Tung Fu-siang with 9000 of his Kansu 
troops, were ordered to Shantung for manoeuvres ; but the 
German military instructors attached to Yuen Shih-kai's 
division were given three weeks' furlough from May 1st, 
and it may be assumed that the march south was not solely 
for purposes of instruction. [116] This force of 22,000 men 
m arched up the hill and then marched down again, returning 
to Chih wit'iin a month [117] ^ but in the interval appeared 
the bellicose decree of May 26th, [118] issued on account 
of ' ; the menacing attitude of Italy and Germany." From 
this time the feeling of hostility to foreigners, shown so 
strongly in all the provinces, was manifested with even 
greater intensity in Shantung. Foreign garrisons could 
protect themselves ; foreign merchants were secure in the 
shelter of the treaty ports ; foreign missionaries in the 
interior had an anxious time and some of their missions 
were destroyed, but, for the present, none were murdered ; 
but the native converts were held to be tainted with the 
taint of foreign ideas, and on them fell the full fury of a 
hostility which could find no other vent. The enmity to 
everything foreign continued to grow, and, in September, 
it was noted that " a sect has arisen whose only reason 
for existence is their hatred for foreigners and the foreign 
religion. For some occult reason they have taken the 

[114] Ostasiatische Lloyd, May 27th, 1899. 

[115] Mr. W. P. Chalfant et al. to Consul Fowler, Aug. 14th, 1899, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1899, p. 177. 

[116] Ostasiat. Lloyd, May 27th, 1899. 

" There are disturbing rumours afloat re return of Tung Fu-siang' s 
men to this neighbourhood, and appearance of considerable body of 
Jhinese troops in Shantung. If these are all facts, I fear our summer will 
hot be without its agitations ! " — R. Hart to E. B. Drew, May 14th, 1899. 

[117] North-China Herald, June 12th, 1899. 

[118] Cf. autea. § 15. 


name of ' Boxers,' and last spring they tried to drive 
out the missionaries at Siaochang." They had recently 
made the same attempt at Pangchwang, For some 
months past they had had a free hand, the magistrates 
knowing of their* existence, but making no attempt to 
suppress them. Now to fanaticism brigandage had been 
added, bullies and robbers joining the bands, which had 
grown bolder, the magistrates trying only to reason with 
them. Every night some Christian village was raided ; 
the converts were in a panic — some recanting, some 
paying blackmail, some holding firm for their faith. 
Villages were beginning to combine for resistance. And 
then the hopeful statement was made that, " like other 
uprisings in China, this promises to die out. "[119 J 

§ 21. This was the first reference in print td the Boxers. 
A year earlier the Tataohwei, or Great Sword Society 
had been active in promoting rebellion in northern Kiangsi 
and north-western Shantung ; but, after destroying some 
missions and causing much distress in the country-side, 
the rising had been suppressed. In May, 1899, a similar 
rising in southern Chihli had been similarly suppressed. 
During all this period western Shantung had been the 
scene of continued disorders, and early in September it 
became known that these were under the control of the 
Ihoehuan ; this name was capable of a double signification : 
its written form, as seen in different official documents, 
indicated either " Association for Justice and Harmony," 
or " Fist of Patriotic Union " ; the latter was the recog- 
nised form, and in fact the society was a Turnverein, making 
boxing and gymnastics its ostensible purpose. Hence the 
popular name " Boxers." It adopted as the blazon on 
its flags a motto in four characters— 4 ' Cherish the Dynasty, 
exterminate the Foreigners " (hing-chao mieh-yang) ; 
and its members passed through various stages of secret 
initiation and mystic rites ; the highest class of initiates 
were rendered invulnerable, by sword, spear, or bullet, 
through the protection accorded by the spirits of the 
dead hovering over them. They showed great activity in 
their raids. The 15th day of the moon (September 19th) 
was designated as the date for a raid on mission premises 

[119] Corresp. Pangchwang, Sept. 21st, North-China Herald, Oct. 9th, 


at Enhien in north-western Shantung ; but stringent 
orders were sent from Peking and Tientsin to the governor 
to give effective protection, and the Boxers were diverted 
to raiding villages of Chinese converts. [120] 

§ 22. The officials in all the disturbed region seemed 
sympathetic to the Boxers, or culpably negligent, or at the 
best helpless, and the raiding went on day after day, the 
raiders being systematically shielded by the gentry. [121 J 
The native Christians were forced to burn incense and 
prostrate themselves before the altars in the temples ; 
but, whether they submitted or not, they were relieved of 
everything portable, even to the grain destined for their 
support in the winter, and this at a time when, owing to 
poor crops, the distress was universal from the Great Wall 
to far beyond the Yellow River. [122] But little check 
was imposed on the operations of the raiders : indeed, early 
in October, the Chentai of Tsaochow, in south-western 
Shantung', had been assassinated, together with six of his 
body-guard, because of his activity in arresting members 
of the Tataohwei.[123] Troops had, however, been sent 
out to repress the general disorder, and, a force coming 
into collision with a band of Boxers, the latter were dis- 
persed, 100 being killed and several made prisoners. This 
gave a promise of a restoration of order ; but the governor 
of the province degraded the Fu of the prefecture and the 
Hien of the district, recalled the troops, and ordered the 
head constable, who had made some arrests, to be sent to 
Tsinanfu in chains. The Boxers had it thus made plain 
to them that the governor was not unfriendly to their 
society, but was actively hostile to those who might 
attack them, and they were encouraged in their course. 
The troops, wherever stationed, had orders not to fire, 
except under explicit instructions from the governor, and 
these orders effectively neutralised the instructions sent to 
all magistrates that they were to protect foreigners and 
maintain order — and " nothing now seems more certain 
than that the Chinese authorities either cannot or will 
not govern Shantung."[124] 

[120] Corresp. " North-western Shantung," ibid., Dec. 4th, 1899. 

[121] Corresp. Ichowfu, Oct. 4th, ibid., Oct. 23rd, 1899. 

[122] Corresp. Tientsin, Oct. 11th, ibid. 

[123] Ibid., Oct. 16th, 1899. 

[124] Corresp. " North-western Shantung," ibid., Dec. 4th, 1899. 

Ill— 12 


§ 23. The Boxers continued their raids. These were 
regularly organised, one summons reading — " The Imperial 
Association of Justice and Harmony : you are summoned 
to meet on the 7th day of the 9th moon. Cherish 
the dynasty, exterminate the foreigners. Whoever declines 
to obey this summons is in danger of his head. "[125] The 
German legation reported to Berlin in November that 
" the followers of the sects of ' Red Fists ■ [Boxers] and 
1 Great Knife ' are in a state of revolt against the administra- 
tion and the people o&Shantung, and are engaged in rapine 
and plunder in mai,y places."[126] Once, in northern 
Shantung on October 18th, they were dispersed by troops 
sent from Chihli, under the command of Yuen Shih-tun, 
brother of Yuen Shih-kai, sixty being killed and 100 
wounded, including several of the f invulnerables."[127] 
But still their activity continued to the end of the year, 
always essentially anti- Christian, and always under the 
banner inscribed " exterminate the foreigner " ; there 
were constant battles between Boxers and converts, while 
the troops looked on inactive ; the cruelties committed on 
the native Christians were " most atrocious," men tortured, 
houses plundered, converts driven to recant ; and the 
movement had spread far into Chihli. [128] 

§ 24. On December 31st, as the Rev. S. M. Brooks, 
a missionary of the Church of England, was returning from 
Taian to his station at Pingyin, he was murdered by a 
party of marauders at Maokiapu, fifty miles south-west 
from Tsinanfu. The leaders of the mob were proved to be 
members of the Tataohwei, and foi\five days had been 
engaged in working up an anti- foreign commotion ; on the 
sixth day they saw Mr. Brooks coming on his way, and, 
hastily putting on red head-cloths,[129] they rushed out 
and attacked him ; in the attack he was wounded. They 
then stripped him to his underclothing and left him tied 

[125] Corresp. Tientsin, Oct. 29th, ibid., Nov. 13th, 1899. 

[126] Nord-Deutscher Zeitung, cited in Lord Gough to Lord Salisbury, 
Berlin, Nov. 15th, 1899, China, No. 1, 1900, p. 368. 

[127] North-China Herald, Nov. 13th, 1899. 

[128] Corresp. Tsinanfu, Dec. 4th, Lintsingchow,Dec. 1 st, Pangchwang 
Dec. 11th, Western Shantung, Dec. 4th, Tientsin, Dec. 11th ; in ibid., 
Dec. 27th, 1899 Corresp. Pangchwang, Dec. 18th, Jan. 1st, ibid., Jan. 10th, 
17th, 1900. 

[129] Red girdles were the distinguishing badge of the Boxers. 


up outside in the bitter cold. At night they took him to 
Maokiapu, which he reached much exhausted irom.exposure 
and his wounds. Here he broke away, but was soon over- 
taken, and his head was cut off. [130] The outrage was 
only a culmination of the war waged for over a year on the 
Christians in the province, but it excited universal con- 
demnation by those in authority. The imperial govern- 
ment, by the pen of the empress dowager, declared that 
it was " most deeply grieved " ; it pointed to repeated 
declarations that " all nations may propagate their religions 
in China," and to its ■■. repeated orders and injunctions" 
to that effect ; and it commanded that " the murderers 
should be caught and brought to justice."[131] This 
was done, and, in< the presence of Mr. C. W. Campbell, 
of the British consular service, seven men arrested were 
tried by the provincial Judge at Tsinanfu on February 28th. 
Of the prisoners two were sentenced to death, and three to 
imprisonment for life, ten years, and two years, respec- 
tively ; one, the innkeeper, was discharged because he 
had charitably given Mr. Brooks food and water and had 
relaxed the tightness of his bonds ; and the village con- 
stable was also discharged because it was held that he was 
overawed by the Tataohwei, not by the half-dozen members 
present, but by the hundreds unseen in the background. 
An indemnity of Tls. 9500 was to be paid to provide 
memorials, but no indemnity was demanded as blood- 
money. The district magistrate was denounced to the 
throne. [132] 

§ 25. " Yuhsien is the principal culprit, and we cannot 
well insist on the punishment of minor officials, who 
practically acted under his orders, unless this man is first 
punished," was the comment of the British envoy. [133] 
An imperial clansman, a special protege of the empress 
dowager, an adherent of the party of reaction among the 
Manchus and therefore intensely anti-foreign and opposed 

[130] Report of trial at Tsinanfu on Feb. 28th, written by Mr. S. 
Couling, who was present officially. — North-China Herald, March 2 1st, 

[131] Imp. decree, Jan. 5th, Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, 
Jan. 5th, 1900, China, No. 3, 1900, p. 3 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Jan. 6th, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 86. 

[132] Mr. Couling' s report, ubi sup. ; Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salis- 
bury, March 29th, 1900, China, No. 3, 1900, p. 12. 

[133] Ibid. 


to all reform, Yiihsien had been appointed governor of 
Shantung in March, 1899. [134] The imperial decrees of 
May 26th, June 5th, and November 21st, ordering all 
officials to resist foreign aggression and directed as much 
against German aggression in Shantung- as against the 
Italian claims, threw a special burden on his shoulders to 
keep the Germans in Shantung Within proper bounds, He 
was a Manchu, with less than the ordinary Chinese official's 
conception of statecraft, and from the outset he accepted 
the idea, which was also that of Tung Fu-siang and of 
many more highly placed, that the best way to curb the 
foreigner was to make his position uncomfortable. Con- 
tinuously through the summer and autumn the corre- 
spondents of the Shanghai newspapers, American mis- 
sionaries generally, pointed out that it was Yiihsien the 
governor, and he alone, who made it impossible to restore 
order ;• he it was who supported the gentry in their attitude 
of hostility to foreigners, who checked the zeal of local 
officials desirous of giving protection to those in peril, 
who restrained the troops from activity, who released 
Boxer chiefs on some technicality. Chinese opinion also 
supported this belief. A letter from a Chinese at Tsinanfu 
to his brother, an official at Shanghai, declared categori- 
cally that Yiihsien abetted the Boxers ; he practically said 
to the Ihotwan and the Tataohwei — "go forth and slay, 
pillage and exterminate all foreigners and Chinese converts, 
and I will forgive your sin in having formed associations 
which are prohibited by imperial decree." After giving 
many instances of Boxer outrages, he writes that Yiihsien 
has said to the officials — " consider all petitions and appeals 
from missionaries and their converts as so much waste 
paper " ; and he adds — " if he wanted to attack foreigners, 
why not send the Boxers against the Germans at 
Kiaochow ? "[135] 

§ 26. The foreigners directly affected were American, 
English and Italian missionaries, and German missionaries 
and engineers ; and the brunt of the attacks fell on the 
Americans. The American legation was impressed by the 
danger, and repeatedly drew the attention of the Tsungli 
Yamen to the urgent necessity of dealing vigorously with 

[134] North-China Herald, March 20th, April 17th, 1899. 
[135] Trans, in ibid., Jan. 10th, 1900. 


the growing disorder in Shantung, and sending " peremp- 
tory and unmistakable orders " to that effect to the 
governor [136] ; and finally the envoy demanded the 
recall of Yiihsien — " if this governor will not or can not 
control the rioters and protect these people, he should 
be removed at once and some one put in his place who can 
and will."[137] The government acted on this, and, 
on December 6th, an imperial decree called Yiihsien to 
Peking and appointed Yuen Shih-kai acting governor in 
his place. [138] The Boxer movement continued to spread, 
but the narrative must be interrupted to deal with the 
emperor's fate. 

§ 27. In the reaction against reform the emperor's 
life was in actual peril, and, even if life were granted, his 
imminent deposition seemed to have been averted only by 
the fear of foreign intervention, and the existence of a 
party among the conservatives favorable to him. [139] 
On December 13th, 1898, the empress dowager showed a 
desire to conciliate foreign opinion by receiving in audience, 
for the first time, the ladies representing the American, 
British, French, German, Russian, Austrian, Dutch and 
Japanese legations, the emperor receiving with her ; 
valuable presents were given to each of the ladies, and a 
favorable impression was produced. [140] The question 
of deposition was, however, not dropped. At the beginning 
of September — a time when the Lord High Extortioner 
Kangyi was nearing the end of his round, when the Boxer 
rising in Shantung was becoming a real danger, and when 
the rivalry between Junglu and Prince Ching was pro- 
nounced, and censors on both sides were bombarding the 
throne with memorials denouncing one or the other— in 
such a crisis the deposition was definitely decided on, the 
proposed successor to Kwanghsii being Putsuan, the nine 
year old son of Duke Tsailan, a friend and supporter of 
Prince Ching; the preliminary step had been a decree of 
September 4th in the sole name of the emperor, in which 
he pleaded his bad state of health, and begged leave from 

[136] Am. legation to Tsungli Yamen, Nov. 1 1th, 16th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 
Dec. 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 1899, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, pp. 78 seq. 

[137] Mr. Conger to Tsungli Yamen, Dec. 5th, 1899, ubi sup. 
[138] Mr. OOnger to Mr. Hay, pec. 7th, 1899, ibid., p. 77. . 
[139] Cf. chap, vi, §§ 19, 21, 24. 
[140] North-China Herald, Dec. 31st, 1898. 


the empress dowager to abdicate. [141] It is the custom 
in China for an official who wishes to retire to plead 
bad health in three successive memorials, to be refused 
twice, and have his final answer on the third application, 
and this prayer from the emperor was accorded a first 
refusal ; but it was ominous that Russia war reported to 
be preparing to send a large body of troops from Man- 
churia. [142] Many memorials were presented by Chinese 
officials protesting against any attempt at deposition, and 
the influence of Junglu was sufficient to postpone a de- 

§ 28. The Manchu princes, nobles and bannermen were 
now ranged solidly on the side of Prince Ching, and Junglu 
stood practically alone ; and from this time his influence in 
the council of vae empress dowager waned rapidly. [144] 
He still, however, maintained his fight against Prince 
Ching' s supremacy [145] ; but the latter now found an ally 
in Tsaiyi, Prince Twan, grandson of the third, and adopted 
grandson of the fourth son of Kiaking.[146] He was a 
strong adherent of Tzehi and a rising man at court ; origin- 
ally Beileh (prince of the 3rd rank), he had been pro- 
moted in 1894 to Kunwang (prince of the 2nd rank). [147] 
In November a renewal of the proposal to depose the 
emperor was supported by most of the Manchus, but was 
strongly opposed by some among them and by many 
influential Chinese, including Li Hung-chang, Liu Kun-yi, 
and Chang Chih-tung.[148] Li Hung-chang's opposition 
was possibly a factor in his appointment, while still Grand 
Secretary, and after having been Peiyang Tachen, to the 
distant and minor post of acting viceroy at Canton. [149] 
On January 1st the emperor issued a significant decree — 
" As our health is still weak, we hereby command that the 
ceremony of the emperor ascending the throne to receive 
the congratulations of the court on New Year's day be 

[141] Tel. Peking, Sept. 7th, ibid., Sept. I lth, 1899. 

[142] Ibid. 

[143] Tel. Peking, Sept. 17th, ibid., Sept. 18th, 1899. 

[144] Ibid., Oct. 2nd, 1899, Jan. 30th, 1900. 

[145] Ibid., Nov. 6th, 1899. 

[146] Cf. table at end of " Submission," chap. xiii. 

[147] Corresp. Peking, Nov. 2nd, North-China Herald, Nov. 13th, 1899. 

[148] Ibid., Dec. 4th, 1899. 

[149] Cf. antea, § 17. 


omitted, as well as the court banquets usually held during 
the New Year."[150] 

§ 29. The Kengtze year of the Chinese sixty-year 
cycle, the twenty-sixth year of Kwanghsii, 1900 by the 
Western calendar, was a fateful year for the Great Tsing 
dynasty of the Manchus. Its intercalary month [151] 
was the eighth, and a year indicated by the character Keng 
and containing the eighth intercalary month had always 
been regarded as fraught with disaster to the dynasty. 
The omen was the more impressive from the fact that, 
though a " Keng " year recurred every ten years, no such 
year had contained the month of ill omen from 1680 until 
1900. Moreover the Chinese year of the Hundred Days 
of Reform, 1898, had opened on January 22nd with an 
eclipse of the sun, of which the central line passed from 
Lhasa over Inner Mongolia, while at Peking five-sixths of 
the sun was eclipsed — foreboding disaster to the people. 
These omens following so closely on each other, the one 
affecting the people, the other the emperor, produced a 
profound effect on the people ; but the empress dowager 
was not to be turned aside by any omens, and, on 
January 24th, a decree was issued in the sole name of the 
emperor, in which he recited the known fact that he had 
been selected as emperor by adoption as son of Hienfeng, 
and that his son was tobeadopted as heir to Tungchih [152] ; 
that for a year past [since September, 1898] he had been 
an invalid ; " but ever keeping in our mind that we do 
not belong to the direct line of succession, and that for the 
safety of the empire of our ancestors a legal heir to the 
throne should be selected, we again begged the empress 
dowager to choose carefully amongst the imperial clan such 

[150] North-China Herald, Jan. 3rd, 1900. 

[151]. The year of twelve hinar months contains 354 Or 355 days, and 
the discrepancy from the solar year is rectified by inserting an intercalary 
month in seven of every nineteen years. Several methods have been 
adopted in Chinese history. The system now in force is based on two 
principles: first, the winter solstice must fall within the 11th moon, 
the summer solstice within the 5th, the spring equinox within the 2nd, 
the autumn equinox within the 8th ; second, that lunar month is inter- 
calary, within which the sun does not transit from one sign of the zodiac 
to another. In Chinese astronomy the zodiac is divided into twenty-four 
stations, corresponding to the days on which the sun enters the 1-st step 
(the chief station) and the 15th step (the jointed station) of each zodiacal 
sign ; the intercalary month contains therefore a jointed station, but 
never a chief station. Cf. P. Hoang, " De Calendario Sinico." 

[152] Cf. " Submission,'' chap, xiii, § 18. 


an heir, and she has selected Puchun, son of Tsaiyi, Prince 
Twan." A second decree commanded that Puchun be 
made heir to " the late emperor Tungchih." A third 
decree appointed Chungyi (father-in-law of Tungchih) 
to be Grand Tutor, and Hsii Tung (Chinese Bannerman and 
bigoted in his anti-foreign views) to be Tutor in personal 
attendance on the Ta-ah-ko, or Heir Apparent, who was 
then fourteen years of age. [J 53] A further decree of the 
empress dowager ' '' commands that the emperor [alone] 
shall at the New Year pay his obeisances to mc in the 
Ningshow palace, after which I will proceed to the Hwang- 
chihtien [Throne-hall of Imperial Supremacy] where the 
Heir Apparent and all the princes, dukes and nobles of the 
imperial House shall pay me their obeisances. "[154] 

§ 30. The emperor had not been deposed ; but he had 
been made to admit his technical illegitimacy as successor 
to his predecessor on the throne, an illegitimacy which had 
been asserted in 1875 by many Manchus and Chinese as 
' a violation of all ancestral custom and the time-honoured 
laws of succession. "[155] The defect had been ignored 
when it had suited the plans of Tzehi to ignore it, but now 
that her plans had changed it was revived. But Kwanghsu 
had since his accession qualified for his position. He had 
attained a rightful position as son of Tungchih by his 
observance of the required term of three years of mourning, 
and he had been on the throne for twenty-five years ; and 
these facts appealed to the empire at large, mingled with 
a deep distrust of Tzehi, who, it was felt, had in her later 
years made a tyrannical use of the power she had usurped. 
Kwangtung was in sullen opposition, but, to dominate it, 
measures were taken to have Kang Yu-wei captured or 
assassinated [156] : the reformers in the provinces were, 
to a man, loyal to the person of the emperor ; so were the 
greater number of the Chinese among the officials. [157] 
Liu Kun-yi was ordered to Peking to answer charges 

[153] Imp decrees, Jan. 24th, North-China Herald, Jan. 30th, 1900; 
Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Jan. 29th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 91. 

[154] Imp. decree, Jan. 26th. North-China Herald, Jan. 30th, 1900. 

[155] Cf. " Submission," chap, xiii, § 19. 

[156] Tel. Peking, Jan. 24th, North-China Herald, Jan. 30th, 1900. 

Imp. decree, Feb. 14th, offering a reward ofTls. 100,000 for the person 
of Kang Yu-wei or Liang Ki-chao, alive or dead, in ibid., Feb. 21st, 1900. 

[157] One memorial in protest was signed by the governor, judge and 
fifty-two officials holding office in Hufceh. It was taken to the viceroy. 


brought against him, but postponed his departure until the 
spring [158] ; and it was suggested to Chang Chih-tung that 
he should ask leave to go to Peking, but he declined, [159] 
and was snubbed in consequence. [160] Memorials poured 
in ; one, telegraphed from Shanghai on January 26th, 
signed by Kin Lien-shan and 1230 others, was addressed 
bo the emperor, assured him of the senders' loyalty and 
begged him not to abdicate. [161] These collective me- 
morials, forty-six of which were received, [162] produced 
their effect, and caused Tzehi to hesitate and to adopt 
a middle course. On January 29th four decrees regulated 
the procedure for the emperor's thirtieth birthday on 
August 6th next : the first forbade any special ceremonies 
in connexion with it ; the second forbade the high officials 
to ask leave to come to Peking to offer, their congratula- 
tions ; but the # third ordered that th.e customary Grace 
examinations should be held ; and the fourth that full 
court robes should be worn for seven days, i.e. three days 
before and three days after the birthday. [163] 

§ 31. The decree of January 4th. on the murder o 
Mr. Brooks, had been of a soothing tone ; but, on the 11th 
it was followed by another on which the American envoy 
declared — " I myself have some anxiety as to the effect 
of its strange wording " [164] ; the French representative 
characterised its terms as " vague and elastic," and con- 
veying " a double meaning " [165] ; while the Briti^sl 

Chang Chih-tung, and there was an angry outburst when he refused to 
add his name.— Tel. Wuchang, Jan. 27th, ibid., Jan. 30th, 1900. " 

[158] Ibid. Cf. postea, § 35. 

[159] Ibid., Feb. 7th, 1900. 

[160) Imp. decree, Jan. 31st, ibid. 

[161] Ibid. Kin Lien-shan, whose name was the first appended to this 
telegram, was subsequently arrested at Macao. Tel. Hongkong, Feb. 26th, 
ibid., Feb. 28th, 1900. The Portuguese authorities held him prisoner and 
took his case under advisement, until the outbreak of the Boxer rising, 
when he was released. — Ibid., March 21st. 

[162] A eunuch in attendance at court declared that he was present 
when the emperor was compelled, by the use of physical force, to sign his 
decree of abdication on Jan. 24th ; the act was followed by his collapse, 
caused by the bursting of a lesser blood vessel. The empress dowager was 
furious at the receipt of Kin Lien-shan' s memorial ; but forty-six similar 
collective protests were received, and this made her pause and defer for 
a time, but not abandon, the deposition. — Ibid., March 14th, 1900. 

[163] Ibid., Feb. 7th, 1900. 

[164] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Jan. 15th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 88. 

[165] M. d'Anthouard to M. Delcasse, March 13th, 1900, Documents 
Diplomatiques, 1900, p. 7. 


envoy contented himself with noting that "it is regarded 
in some quarters with misgiving."[166] Premising that 
" recently the practice of robbery and pillage has increased 
very much in all the provinces," and that this was due to 
" leagues or societies of bad characters and rebels," the 
decree ordered that " a discrimination should be made 
in the nature and objects of these societies." Unlawful 
associations for plunder and rioting could not be tolerated, 
but " if law-abiding and loyal people combine to drill for 
their own protection, or villages join for mutual defence, 
this is only to fulfil the subject's duty of keeping watch 
and ward." Officials who did not thus discriminate would 
fail in their duty; missionaries and converts were to be 
dealt with justly and given full protection ; but it was 
" the duty of the people to protect and guard their hearths 
and homes . . . thus quiet and- peace will prevail . . . 
such is our earnest desire." 

§ 32. Further reports from Shantung and southern 
Chihli " confirmed the general opinion that the decree . . . 
was considered by the Boxers and Big Sword societies as 
in their favour and did give them much encouragement 
. . . and their numbers are daily increasing and more 
serious trouble is threatened. "[167] It was further 
believed that the empress dowager had decided that 
" Tung Fu-siang should carry out his plan of driving all 
foreigners into the sea," and that she regarded the Boxers 
as serYiceable allies to that end. [168] These beliefs were 
strengthened, in the minds of foreigners and Boxers a like, 
by the reception given to Yuhsien in Peking. The court 
circular in the Peking Gazette of January 16th recorded 
that " Yuhsien arrives in Peking, is received in audience, 
and is presented by the empress [dowager] with [a tablet 
bearing] the character fu [happiness]. "[169] The Tsungli 
Yamen explained that this was only a customary acknow- 
ledgment of service [170] ; but the American envoy at 

[166] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Jan. 17th, 1900, China, 
No. 3, 1900, p. 8. 

[167] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Jan. 29th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, 
p. 93. Cf. also corresp. Tientsin, Jan. 11th, Ichowfu, Jan. 10th, Lintsing- 
chow, Jan. 6th, N.W. Shantung, Jan. 16th, Feb. 6th, in North-China 
Herald, Jan. 24th, 30th, Feb. 14th, 28th, 1900. 

[168] North-China Herald, Feb. 14th, 1900. 

[169] Ibid. 

[170] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Jan. 29th, 1900, ubi sup. 


once protested against the laxity shown in dealing with 
the disorder in Shantung, declaring that " certainly the 
imperial commendation of governor Yuhsien furnishes 
grounds for such opinions. "[171] 

§ 33. The legations directly concerned, the American, 
British, French, German and Italian, becoming more 
alarmed, addressed an identic note to the Tsungli Yamen 
on January 27th, drawing attention to the ambiguous 
wording of the decree, and asking that another be issued, 

4 ordering by name the complete suppression of the 
Ihochuan and Tataohwei societies," and that it might be 

w distinctly stated in the decree that to belong to either 
of these societies, or to harbour any of its members, is a 
criminal offence against the laws of China. "[172] The 
question appeared to the legations to be urgent, but not 
so to the Chinese administration, which was engaged 
in the more important business of settling the succession 
to the throne and of celebrating the new year season ; 
but a month later, on February 25th, the legations were 
informed that a decree had ordered the viceroy of Chihli 
and the governor of Shantung to suppress the societies ; 
and, on March 1st, that the viceroy of Chihli had issued 
a proclamation in conformity with his orders. On 
March 2nd the legations, at a conference with the Tsungli 
Yamen, presented another note asking that the decree be 
given general publicity by being published in the Peking 
Gazette ; but, on March 7th, this was refused as being 
contrary to precedent. The legations repeated their 
demand with more insistence in a note of March 9th. The 
American envoy expressed his opinion that " the Chinese 
government have, either purposely or through fear of a 
general uprising, flagrantly trifled w r ith this matter from 
the beginning and have grossly violated their treaty 
obligations " ; and all five envoys were agreed in advising 
their respective governments that a naval demonstration 
be made in the gulf of Pechihli.[173] 

[171] Sam© to Tsungli Yamen, Jan. 18th, 1900, in ibid. 

[172] China, No. 3, 1900, p. 13 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 96. 

[173] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, March 16th, 23rd, 1900, 
China, No. 3, 1900, pp. 11, 24 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, March 10th, 1900, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 102 ; M. d'Anthouard to M. Delcasse, March 11th, 
13th, 1900, Doc. Dip., 1900, pp. 6, 7. 

Thf French charge d'affaires considered the naval demonstration as 


§ 34. Opinions on the conduct of Yuen Shih-kai 
varied. Much was expected from his vigour, his wide 
knowledge of foreign affairs, and his long training under 
Li Hung-chang ; and the American administration was 
led to express its belief that M the appointment of Yuen 
Shih-kai as governor of Shantung may inaugurate a new 
era in that province " [174] ; but in those on the spot 
the feeling was one of " almost unmixed disappoint- 
ment. "[175] As time went on, those same " men on the 
spot " began to see that he seemed to be trying to do what 
he could, but that his hands were tied through restraining 
orders from Peking and silent obstruction or lukewarm 
support from the officials under his command [176] ; and 
ever, in imperial China, the apparently autocratic ruler of 
a province was strangely under the influence of any show 
of cold disapproval from above or latent hostility from 
below. That he did not go outside his orders from Peking 
is shown by his promotion, on March 14th, from acting 
to titular governor of Shantung. The animus of the 
administration was manifested in the favour shown to 
Yiihsien ; he had been, apparently, removed from the 
governorship on the representation of the American envoy, 
that envoy had protested against the favour shown to him 
by the empress dowager, and now he was appointed 
governor of Shansi ; the British and German envoys pro- 
tested ; the American envoy regarded the act as " un- 
friendly " and warned the Chinese ministers that " trouble 
would come of his appointment," and this warning was 
approved by the Secretary of State. [177] 

§ 35. This time was selected for a renewal of the 
crusade against the reformers. On February 22nd, the 

"pour ie> moment prematuree " ; but the Minister of Foreign Affairs 
agreed to co-operate if the situation did not improve. M. Delcasse to Fr. 
ambassadors, March 13th, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 10. The British government 
thought the movement inopportune, but agreed to send ships to croise ; 
M. Pichon to M. Delcasse, Peking, March 15th ; M. Gambon to same, 
April 4th, 1900, ibid., pp. 12, 14. 

[174] Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger, Feb. 1st, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 96. 

[175] Corresp. N.W. Shantung, Jan. 16th, North -China Herald. 
Feb. 14th, 1900. 

[176] Same, Feb. oth, March 13th, 20th, April 24th; Tientsin, 
March 29th ; in ibid.,- Feb. 28th, March 28th, April 4th, May 9th, 1900. 

[177] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, March 16th, 1900, China, 
No. 3, 1900, p. 24 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, March 23rd, Mr. Hay to Mr. 
Conger, May 15th, T 900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, pp. 112, 126, 


empress dowager gave orders that twenty members of the 
reform party living in the provinces be arrested ; Weng 
Tung-ho, Grand Tutor to Kwanghsu, then in enforced 
seclusion in his home in Changshu, Kiangsu,[178] was 
among them, fyut his arrest was postponed owing to his 
illness. It was reported that other lists were expected to 
follow, to include altogether upwards of 400 names ; that 
this was the work of Kangyi and other reactionaries, but 
was repugnant to Junglu ; and that it was hoped the 
persecution would cease as soon as Liu Kun-yi could make 
his influence felt. [179] On March 9th five members of 
the Hanlin, known as advocates of reform, were sentenced 
to severe penalties for incompetence, peculation, " loss ol 
right feeling," "an unfathomable heart," etc. ; this was 
accepted as " tangible evidence of the very strong anti- 
foreign sentiments of the empress dowager and her closest 
advisers. "[180] On March 12th an imperial decree gave 
a long list of honours conferred for the emperor's thirtieth 
birthday ; among them Li Hung-chang was permitted to 
quarter the imperial arms, [181] Hsu Tung received the 
three-eyed peacock's feather (usually reserved for princes 
and dukes), Wang Wen-shao and Liu Kun-yi were ap 
pointed Junior Guardians to the Heir Apparent. [182] 
Liu Kun-yi went to Peking close on the heels of his honour 
and was received in audience on April 5th, and again on 
the 7th. He had a cordial reception from the empress 
dowager and the princes present ; he was urged to take 
steps to "wipe out" the reform party, but replied that it 
was an " almost impossible task " ; but it was obvious that 
he was the only man capable of maintaining order in the 
Liangkiang and other provinces under his jurisdiction, 
and, notwithstanding his numerous requests to retire from 

[178] Cf. chap, vi, § 9. 

[179] Tel. Peking, March 1st ; Chinese corresp. Peking, Feb. 22nd, 
March 1st ; North-China Herald, March 7th, 14th, 1900. 

[180] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, March 13th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, 
p. 109. 

[181] This is the European equivalent of the honour bestowed on him. 
As a civil official of the first class he wore on breast and back of his official 
robes a square plaque with a white crane embroidered on it ; he was now 
honoured by being permitted to' embroider the imperial dragon on the 
square plaques. The emperor wore the dragon embroidered within a circle 
or on a round plaque. 

[182] North-China Herald, March 14th, 1900. 


office, he was ordered back to his post at Nanking. [183] 
He resumed office there on May 9th. [184] The persecution 
of the reformers had been stopped, the edict against the 
Ihochuan and Tataohwei was published in the Peking 
Gazette on April 15th, and the foreign ships of war " re- 
turned to their ordinary duty. "[185] 

§ 36. A spirit of unrest prevailed everywhere. In 
February news was received that two members of the 
British Burma boundary commission, Mr. Kiddle and Mr. 
Sutherland, had been killed, and Mr. Litton, of the con- 
sular service, had been wounded, by native tribes at 
Mengka, 200 miles from Tengyueh [186] ; but on this 
occasion no such political importance was attached to. the 
murders as had been the case in 1875. In Honan in 
February there was a " general state of disorder," directed 
more especially against the administration and the well- 
to-do.[187] In Hunan a general rising was threatened if 
the deposition of the emperor were proceeded with, but 
meantime the province was kept quiet by the influence of 
Liu Kun-yi, who was still at Nanking. [188] In Hupeh 
there was general talk among the people that a rebellion 
would break out during the year. [189] In Yunnan the 
word was passed around to " sharpen your weapons and 
prepare for the coming struggle," with an especial animus 
against French railway projects. [190] In Kwangtung the 
officials were visibly making active preparations against a 
" great rebellion during the summer. "[191] In Chekiang the 
old feud between converts broke out again in Taichowfu, and 
a Roman Catholic missionary was severely wounded. [192] 
In Chihli " the Boxer movement was spreading quietly 
over the northern part of the province," and it was reported 
that 8000 of Prince Twan's troops had " joined the 

[183] North- China Herald, April 11th, 1900. 

[184] Ibid., May 16th, 1900. 

[185] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, April 16th, 1900, China, 
No. 3, 1900, p. 23 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, April 16th, Mav 3rd, 1900, U.S. 
For. Rel., 1900, pp. 117, 119. 

[186] Tel. Peking, Feb. 16th, North-China Herald, Feb. 21st, 1900 

[187] Corresp. North Honan, Feb. 23rd. ibid., Feb. 28th, 1900. 

[188] Tel. Peking, March 5th, ibid., March 7th, 1900. 

[189] Corresp. Anlufu, March 27th, Ichang. April 18th, ibid., April 1 1th, 
25th, 1900. 

[190] Corresp. Chaotungfu, March 5th, ibid., April 11th, 1900. 

[191] Corresp. Canton, May 2nd, ibid., May 9th, 1900. 

[192] M. Pichon to M. Delcasse, May 14th, 1900, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 20. 


Boxers " [193] ; early in May armed Boxers raided villages 
of Roman Catholic converts near Paotingfu, eighty miles 
from Peking, killing and burning alive some seventy of 
them [194] ; and'two days later they attacked in the same 
way villages of Protestant converts in Laishuihien, only 
forty miles from Peking. [195] In Shantung, in addition 
to all the Boxer attacks on missions and converts, there were 
attacks also on German railway works. The most formid- 
able was on February 2nd, when five railway engineers were 
driven from their work by an armed band coming from 
Kaomi ; three days before, the correspondent had been 
warned by the Chinese magistrate not to go near Kaomi. [196] 

§ 37. While the Boxers were raiding the converts of 
all denominations, and attacking the German engineers, in 
Shantung ; while the court was covertly encouraging the 
Boxers ; while the emperor was threatened with deposi- 
tion ; while the reformers were again being sought out for 
persecution — at such a time the German organ at Shanghai 
protested against the attitude of the English newspapers 
of Shanghai in " circulating the most incredible rumours 
about events in China of a nature to make people in 
Europe believe that China is either on the threshold of a 
revolution or of a general collapse of her system of govern- 
ment." It ridiculed the alarmist reports, which it charac- 
terised as " wild tales," and which it declared were tele- 
graphed abroad for the sake ,of influencing the stock 
markets ; and it deprecated such an attempt to " shake 
confidence in the stability of the present state of 

§ 38. A truer note was struck in a communication from 
Peking early in May warning the public that there was a 
great secret scheme to crush all foreigners in China and 
to wrest back the cessions made to foreign powers ; that 
the principal leaders in the project were the empress 
dowager, Prince Ching, Prince Twan, Kangyi, Chao 

p93] North-China Herald, April Uth, 18th, 1900. 

[194] M. Pichon to M. Delcasse, May 14th, 1900, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 20. 

[195] Same to same. Mav 16th, 1900, ibid., p. 20 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. 
Hay, May 21st, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 127. 

[196] Corresp. Weihien, Jan. 30th, Feb. 2nd, North-China Herald, 
Feb., 14th, 21st, 1900. 

[197] Ostasiatische Lloyd repx-oduced in Berlin Post, March 20th, cited 
in Sir F. Lascelles to Lord Salisbury, March 22nd, 1900, China, No. 3, 1900, 
p. 12. 


Shu-kia'o, and Li Ping-heng ; that the armed force behind 
the movement was entirely Manchu — Prince Ching's 
force, 50,000, Prince Twan's force, 10,000, and the Imperial 
Guard under Kangyi, 12,000 — while the Boxers were 
counted on as auxiliaries ; and that the carrying the 
project into effect was imminent. All the Chinese of the 
upper classes knew of this, and had warned their friends 
among foreigners, but had been laughed at. The foreign 
legations had • demanded the suppression of the Boxers 
and had had dust thrown in their eyes ; and Junglu had 
now decided to stand by the emperor. [198] 

[198] Corresp. Peking, May 8th, North-China Herald, May 16th, 1900. 

This correspondent was a Chinese holding an official position in Peking, 
a member of the family which had given to China the great viceroy, Tseng 
Kwo-fan, and the able envoy, Tseng Ki-tse ; he was killed in June or 
July, 'somewhere between Peking and the Yangtze. 

Gates of 
Tartar City. 


1. Tesheng Gate. \ 

2. Anting Qate. 

3. Tungohih Qate. | 

4. Chihwa Gate. • 

5. Hata Gate. 

6. Tsienxnen Gate. 

7. Shunchih Gate. 

8. Pingtze Gate. 
9 Sichih Gate. 

10. Sipien Gate. .. 

11. Tungpien Gate. 1 

12. Shakwo Gate. 

13. Kiangtze Gate. I Q * U>8 of „.. 
w v Z- ^ . C Chinese City. 

14. Yungtmg Gate. 

15. Nansi Gate. I 

16. Kiangyti Gate. ) 

17. Water Gate. 

18. Hanlin Library. 

19. Imperial Carriage Park. 

20. Mongol Market. 

21. Tsungli Yamen. 
2<S. Observatory. 

23. Temple of Heaven. 

24. Temple of Agriculture. 
26. Suwang Fu. 

26. British Legation. 

27. Russian Legation. 

28. American Legation. 

29. Netherlands Legation. 

30. Spanish Legation. 

31. Japanese Legation. 

32. French Legation. 
S3. German Legation. 

34. Italian Legation. 

35. Austro-Hungarian Legation. 

36. Belgian Legation. 

37. Customs Inspectorate. 

38. Customs Students. 

39. Post-Office. 

40. American Methodist Mission. 

41. Old Pehtang \ ,„ 

42. NewPehtang (?°°»? 

(besieged) U Cathohc 

43. Nantang. | j Churches and 

44. Tungtang. J (Missions. 

45. American Presbyterian Mission 

46. American Board Mission. 

47. London Mission. 

48. Church of England Mission. 

Scale of English Mile. 

Bartholomew Edi< 



1. Warning against the Boxer danger, May, 1900 . . . 193 

2. Optimism of foreign envoys . . . . . .195 

3. Reassuring decrees : hostile acts of Boxers . . ,196 

4. Legation guards brought up, May 31 . . . . 197 

5. Railway communication interrupted, May 28 . . . 198 

6. Murder of Mr. Robinson and Mr. Norman, June 1 . . 199 

7. Exodus of railway engineers- from Paotingfu \ . .199 

8. Boxers supported by ministers in high places . . . 199 

9. Legations appeal for help ; Seymour relief force starts, 

June 10 . . . . . . . .201 

10. Situation critical ; envoys propose personal audience . 202 

11. Boxers aggressively active near Peking, June 9-10 . . 203 

12. Concentration of foreigners in and near Peking, June 9 . 203 

1 3. Murder of Sugiyama, June 1 1 ; Boxers enter Peking, June 1 3 204 

14. Boxer irruption into Tientsin, June 14 . . . . 205 

15. Admirals send ultimatum, seize Taku forts, June 16-17 . 206 

16. American admiral abstains from co-operating . . . 207 

17. Situation as presented to the admirals .... 208 

18. Confronted by hostile attitude of Chinese administration . 209 
Effect of seizure on position of foreign residents . .210 
Seizure the pretext, not the cause, for opening hostilities . 211 
Adm. Seymour's advance checked at Langfang, June 11 . 213 
He retreats and is relieved, June 16-26 . . . ,214 

23. Attack opened on foreign' settlement, Tientsin, June 17 . £15 

24. Relieving force from Taku arrives June 23 . . .216 

25. State of semi-siege at Peking, June 8-20 . . .216 

26. Inaction and silence, of Chinese government . . .218 

27. A newspaper editorial and a forged despatch, June 19 . 218 

28. Grand imperial council decides on war, June 20 . .219 
Envoys required to leave Peking within 24 hours, June 19 220 
Envoys, prepared to leave, ask for interview . . .221 
Baron von Ketteler alone starts for interview, June 20 . 222 
Baron killed by Manchu soldier ; Mr. Cordes wounded . 223 

33. Curious anticipation of news of murder .... 224 

34. Legations attacked, 4 p.m., by Boxers and by troops . 224 

§ 1. " Peking, Tientsin and Paotingfu are encircled by 
bands of maddened and fanatical people, whose numbers 

III- 13 193 


are swollen by an excited crowd of vagabonds, and who, 
being maintained by leaders in high position, rob, pillage, 
burn and kill as they pass. For the moment their activity 
is directed against Chinese converts, Catholic and Pro- 
testant. . . . They do not conceal their object to get rid 
of all foreigners ... by means of destruction of religious 
missions and a general insurrection against European and 
American residents . . . and on their flags they now 
assert that they act by imperial , command. "[1] Thus, 
on May 20th, the French envoy, driven to action by a 
warning letter from Mgr. Favier, Roman Catholic Bishop 
of Peking, the culmination of many such letters from this 
prelate, who " wrote in a state of extreme alarm, demanding 
detachments of marine guards and declaring that the 
greatest evils are imminent."[2] Warnings there had 
been. in great abundance, so many that people had become 
accustomed to them and had ceased to regard them ; while 
others, who took them seriously, thought that the outbreak 
would be deferred until the eighth moon (September), 
immediately preceding the fatal intercalary eighth. [3] The 
warnings had been emphasised by two among the English 
newspapers in China — the North-China Herald of Shanghai, 
and the Peking and Tientsin Times of Tientsin, both ther 
under editors of exceptional ability ; and the former in an 
editorial ten days before this date stated that " Chinese in 
Peking write that they are more and more convinced that 
the Manchus in power are preparing for a bold attempt to 
expel the foreigner altogether from North China " ; and 
it pointed out, adducing many precedents, that May and 

[1] M. Pichon to M. Delcasse, May 20th, 1900, Documents Diploma- 
tiques, France, 1900, p. 21. 

[2] Ibid. Bishop's letter in China. No. 3, 1900,; p. 107} U.S. For. 
Rel., 1900, p. 130. 

[3] " We cannot say we had no warning. ... In fact, if there was 
one cry to which our ears had grown so accustomed as to mind it less than 
our own heart beats, it was this Chinese cry of ' Wolf.' . . . Some of us 
regarded the movement as very significant, but we did not expect it to 
become a danger before autumn : its earlier development was a genuine 
surprise." — R. Hart, " These from the Land of Sinim," p. 1. 

" Throughout a large part of China there wa3 a general expectation 
that by the eighth moon there would be serious disturbances. Many who 
had been anticipating such an event at that time, were taken by surprise 
because the catastrophe occurred so many months earlier." — A. H. Smith, 
" China in Convulsion," i, p. 219. 

" There are predictions of a general uprising in the eighth moon."— 
Corresp. Ichang, April 18th, North-China Herald, April 25th, 1900. 


June were the favorite months for launching rebellions 
in China. [4] 

§ 2. The French envoy was " profoundly impressed by 
the apprehensions of Mgr. Favier,"[5] and called a meeting 
of his colleagues to consider the situation. It was unanim- 
ously agreed that a joint note should be sent,[6] making 
explicit demands for the suppression of the Boxers, by 
arrests, by punishment, and by the issue of imperial 
decrees. The question of summoning legation guards was 
considered, but a decision was deferred, several of the 
foreign envoys being reluctant to advise the step at this 
stage, as they feared to consolidate the anti-foreign 
element and drive the administration into the arms of the 
Boxers. [7] The German envoy considered that, if the 
Chinese government failed to suppress the Boxers, pressure 
should be brought to bear on it by a concentration of ships 
of war near Shanhaikwan ; and it was decided to recom- 
mend this step to the various governments as a contingent 
measure. [8] The British and American envoys had both 
had interviews with the Tsungli Yamen on May 18th, and 
were both hopeful of the outcome. The former reported — 
"I confess that little has come to my own knowledge to 
confirm the gloomy anticipations of the French Fathers. 
. . . My judgment as to the probability of continued 
security must be suspended until the Chinese government 
shows, by its action within the next few days, whether 
or not it has the will and the power to do its duty. "[9 ] 
The American envoy reported — * 6 I believe that the govern- 
ment is aroused, itself alarmed at the situation, and will 
take more energetic action ; but no one can be certain of 
this until it is done. "[10] 

[4] Ibid., May 9th, 1900. Mr. Robert W. Little was editor of the 
North-China Herald, and Mr. Alexander Michie of the Peking and Tientsin 

[5] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, May 21st. 1900, China. No. 3, 
1900. p. .103. 

[6] Text in ibid., p. 109; U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 129; Doc. Dip., 
1900, p. 24. 

[7] " Even now there were many in the various -legations who were 
opposed to bringing up a large force." — Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 210. 

" We did not consider that the circumstances . . . were such as to 
justify the bringing up of legation guards." — Sir C. MacDonald to Lord 
Salisbury, ubi sup. 

[8] Ibid. 

[9] Ibid. 

[10] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, May 21st, 1900, U.S. ForRel.,1900, p. 127. 


§ 3. Of energetic action there was no evidence ; but 
the wing of the Chinese administration which may be 
variously described as cautious, or fearful of the con- 
sequences, or regardful of its international responsibilities, 
or friendly to foreign powers, was allowed to soothe the 
legations by the issue of imperial decrees of a most correct 
tone. One, purporting to have been issued secretly on 
May 17th, but brought to the notice of the legations only 
on May 21st, ordered the Peking police to consult and 
report on the best way to check Boxer activities. Then 
followed three others, issued on May 24th, 29th and 30th, 
which left nothing to be desired in the stringency of the 
orders given to " act immediately and vigorously arrest 
the leaders and chiefs, and disperse the followers of the 
Boxers," and to protect mission chapels. [11] Again the 
legations were reassured. The hopeful spirit of the British 
and American envoys has been referred to ; and now the 
Russian envoy made such a report that, in the opinion of 
the Russian Foreign Minister, " the danger is now less 
acute" [12] ; and similarly, on the French envoy's reports, 
M. Delcasse continued as late as June 5th to consider that 
** for the moment all imminent danger was over."[13] 
But meantime events were outpacing reassuring decrees. 
On May 25th the Boxers attacked and destroyed the 
houses of converts of an American mission at Pachow, 
sixty miles south of Peking, and " murdered nine Christian 
women and children." On the 28th " word came that the 
railway was attacked, two bridges and two stations burned 
on the Paotingfu line ; and that Fengtai, on the Tientsin 
line, only ten miles from Peking, was being burned with 
all the machine shops, and that no trains were running 
between Peking and Tientsin. "[14] Each legation, in- 
dependently, had already requisitioned for marines to be 
sent to Tientsin, and, at a meeting of the envoys held 
May 28th, it was decided to order up the legation 

[11] Trans, of decrees in same to same, June 2nd (received in Washing- 
ton, Oct. 24th), 1900, ibid., p. 132. 

T12] Sir C. Scott to Lord Salisbury, St. Petersburg, May 31st, 1900, 
China, No. 3, 1900, p. 31. 

[13] Sir E. Monson to same, Paris, May 31st, June 4th, 5th, 1900, ibid., 
pp. 32, 34, 35. 

[14] Sir C. MacDonald to same, May 29th, 1900, ibid., p. 30; Mr. 
Conger to Mr. Hay, June 2nd, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, P. 132. 


guards [15] ; the French envoy had, in fact, sent for his 
before the meeting assembled. [16] 

§ 4. When the legations were established at Peking 
under the conventions of Peking, 1860, each of the three 
then opened [17] was provided with a guard for its security 
in a capital in which they were not welcome ; but in 
course of time they were reduced to a number sufficient 
only for ceremonial escort duty. Later on, in times of 
crisis, detachments of marines were sent up from the 
several fleets for special duty to guard the legations during 
the winter, when Peking was cut off from the outer world 
by the closing by ice of the port of Tientsin ; this was done 
at the end of 1894 and 1898, the guards being on each 
occasion withdrawn in March. The guards were sent up 
by concerted action of the great powers, acting on a joint 
representation of their envoys in Peking ; but the American 
government in February, 1895, while agreeing to joint 
action, noted its dissent from the principle, and declared 
that the proper course to pursue was for the legation to 
demand an escort to " a place of safety where you would 
be under the immediate and legitimate protection of your 
own flag. "[18] In 1900 the State Department made no 
such demur,[19] but .there was still some misgiving on the 
subject of combined action. [20] The other powers assented 

[15] Same to same, May 28th, 1900, ibid., p. 132 ; Sir C. MacDonald 
to Lord Salisbury, May 29th, 1900, China, No. 3, 1900, p. 30 ; M. Pichon 
to M. Delcasse, May 29th, 1900, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 27. • 

[16] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, May 29th, 1900, China, 
No. 3, 1900, p. 30. 

[17] Mr. Burlingame, the first American envoy in residence, did not 
arrive in Peking until July, 1862. 

[18] " The President sees no reason why the legation should court 
danger by remaining at Peking in the face of imminent or threatening 
peril ; and you would have the right to an adequate escort to assist you 
in avoiding it by removal to a place of safety where you would be under 
the immediate and legitimate protection of your own flag. Nevertheless, 
in view of your telegram of the 18th instant, reporting that other legations 
are bringing military guards to Peking with the consent of the Chinese 
government, I telegraphed on the 1 9th authorising you to bring up marines 
under similar conditions." — Mr. Gresham to Mr. Denby, Feb. 28th, 1895, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1895, p. 198. 

[19] "If required for safety of legation, confer with admiral about 
sending guards for your protection." — Mr. HilltoMr. Conger, tet, May 2 6th, 
1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 132. 

[20] " Act independently in protection of American interests where 
practicable, and concurrently with representatives of other powers if neces- 
sity arise." — Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger, tel., June 8th; 1900, ibid., p. 143. 


without reservation. The Tsungli Yamen refused to grant 
permission, [21] and consequently the viceroy at Tientsin 
refused to sanction the necessary railway transport ; but, 
after some further discussion, the permission was given on 
May 31st, provided that the number did not exceed thirty 
for each legation. [22] The guards were at Tientsin ready 
to start and they arrived at Peking at 6.45 p.m. the same 
day — 79 British, 79 Russian, 75 French, 53 American, 
39 Italian and 24 Japanese; in addition 51 German and 
32 Austro-Hungarian arrived on June 3rd ; to these 
must be added 19 officers, making a total of 451 armed 
men. Of these 2 officers and 41 men guarded the Pehtang 
cathedral, and 17 officers and 391 men the legations. The 
British, American, Austrian and Italian forces each had a 
machine-gun ; the Russians brought ammunition for their 
gun, useless for any other, but left the gun itself behind in 
Tientsin. Of the British and French guards there were 
100 of each ready to entrain, but, as the Russians had only 
79 men, diplomatic exigencies required that the excess of 
each of the other two be left behind. 

§ 5. The alarm which led to summoning the guards was 
well lounded. Heretofore the animosity of the Boxers 
had been actively directed against the " secondary devils," 
the " erh-kwei-tze " — the Chinese converts tainted with the 
foreign poison ; the primary devils had been in constant 
peril, but, with the exception of Mr. Brooks, no foreign life 
had been taken. On May 28th that foreign institution, 
the railway, had been interrupted from Peking both to 
Tientsin and to Paotingfu, and the machine shops at Fengtai 
had been destroyed ; and the railway engineering stall at 
Fengtai were blocked in their houses. Word of their 
danger was brought to Peking on the 29th ; the foreign 
envoys were busily engaged with their conferences, and the 
diplomatic body with its dozen heads took no action ; but 
a Swiss hotel-keeper, M. Chamot, with his American wife 
started off with five others and, on May 30th, " they 
brought in the whole party, thirteen men. nine women and 
*even children, safely to Peking, weary, bedraggled, and 

[21] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, May 30th, 1900, China, 
No. 3, 1900, p. 30. . 

[22] Same to same, May 31st, 1900, ibid., p. 31 ; Mr Conger to Mr. 
Hay, June 2nd, 1900, U.S.* For Eel., 1900, p. 132. 


in a condition of extreme faintness of body and mind. "[23]- 
The line to Tientsin was temporarily restored, but that to 
Paotingfu remained unworkable. 

§ 6. At Yungtsing, twenty miles north-east of Paotingfu, 
fifty miles south of Peking in the direction of Pachow, 
on June 1st two English missionaries met their fate. Mr. 
Charles Robinson and Mr. H. V. Norman, threatened by 
an armed mob, fled for refuge to the magistrate's yamen ; 
when the mob demanded their surrender they were forced 
to leave the yamen by the back door, and were refused 
entrance to the Confucian temple, in which a shelter had 
been promised. Mr. Robinson was killed inside one of 
the city gates. Mr. Norman escaped from the city, but 
was made prisoner at once ; he was kept for twenty-four 
hours and then killed. [24] 

§ 7. At Paotingfu was a large force of railway engineers, 
Belgians, Italians and others, with their families. Warned 
of serious danger impending they hastily collected boats, 
and started by river for Tientsin at 5 p.m. on May 29th, 
a party of 41, viz. 33 men, 7 women and one child. They 
were provided by the officials with an escort of soldiers, 
but at 5 p.m. on May 30th the officers, left on some trivial 
excuse. The next morning they were attacked by a mob 
armed with swords and spears, the weapons customary at 
this stage of the movement, but the soldiers of the escort 
also joined in the attack ; this attack was beaten off. They 
then left the boats and proceeded on foot through the dust 
and burning sun, with scanty food ; and, sometimes main- 
taining a running fight, sometimes creeping between villages 
unseen, through four days, they reached Tientsin at 4 p.m. 
on June 4th. Of the whole party, 9 were " missing," 
23 wounded, and 9 unhurt. [25] With such beginnings, 
well might the " legations consider situation serious. "[26] 

§ 8. Shantung, the home of the Boxers, was kept quiet 
through this crisis by the exertions of the governor, Yuen 
Shih-kai [27] ; but the whole of Chihli was now a seething 

[231 Smith. "China in Convulsion," i, p. 209. 

£24] Forsyth, " The China Martyrs of 1900," pp. 13-18 ; Mr. Conger 
to Mr. Hay, June 4th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 139. 

[25] North-China Herald, June 6th, 13th, 1900. 

[26] Tel. Peking, June 1st, ibid., June 6th, 1900. 

[27] Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 604 ; Forsyth, " China Martyrs," 
p. 12. 

"By common report Yuen Shih-kai has now become a convert to 


mass of Boxers, active throughout the province ; only 
within Peking and Tientsin they had as yet committed 
no overt act of outrage, but even in and around those cities 
they were already enrolling recruits, drilling, and engaging 
in their mystic rites [28^; even in the imperial palace 
the newly selected heir to the throne " had dressed himself 
up as a Boxer and was going through their drill," and was 
reprimanded by the empress dowager. [29] The imperial 
Council was rent with dissension : on the side of caution 
were Junglu and nearly all the Chinese among the high 
ministers ; Prince Ching was always hostile to Junglu, but 
in this crisis did not stand in opposition to his views [30] ; 
in favour of the policy of using the Boxer movement as a 
means of driving foreigners into the sea were all the other 
Manchu nobles and high ministers, foremost among them 
Prince Twan, Duke Lan, Hsu Tung, Changyi and Kangyi, 
and ranged on their side was the commander of the Kansu 
troops, Tung Fu-siang. Junglu was in infirm health and 
was, from time to time, confined to his house ; but his was 
che only voice on the side of caution which had any weight. 
On May 31st, after the Tsungli Yamen had given formal 
permission for the legation guards to come to Peking, 
an aggressive party headed by Kangyi wished still to 
oppose their entrance at the gates ; but' " Prince Ching 
implored Prince Twan not to oppose their entry," while 
" Junglu had already ordered their admission. "[31] At a 
secret conclave held at the palace on June 4th it was pro- 
posed that the Boxers should not be crushed, since they 

Christianity ; if he too were to suppress the [Boxer] movement in Shantung, 
not death itself could expiate his guilt." — Diary of Chingshan, June 1st, 
Bland and Backhouse, " Empress Dowager," p. 260. 

[28] " There is no prohibition of the Boxers drilling, which they 
now openly do in the houses of the Manchu nobility and in the temples." — 
Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, June 8th, 1900, China, No. 3, 1900, 
p. 42. 

" The [Princess Imperial] has over two hundred and fifty Boxers 
quartered at the palace outside the Howmen." — Diary, Chingshan, 
June 10th, p. 262. 

[29] Diary Chingshan, June 1st, p. 257. 

[30] " On the other side is Prince Ching, president of the Tsungli 
Yamen, and nearly all the ministers of the Tsungli Yamen." — Mr. Conger 
to Mr. Hay, June 4th, 1900, U.S. For. Bel., 1900, p. 139. 

" Prince Ching habitually ridicules the Boxers in private conversation, 
declaring them to be utterly useless. ... In public, however, he is most 
cautious." — Diary, Chingshan, June 1st, p. 259. 

[31] Ibid., June 1st, p. 256. 


were loyal to the dynasty, and, if properly armed, would 
be useful auxiliaries. The only voices raised in opposition 
were those of Junglu and Prince Li (representative of one 
of the eight princely families) ; Wang Wen-shao s'at silent ; 
and u the empress dowager kept her own counsel." [82] 

§ 9. The foreign envoys now saw more clearly into the 
situation and were much perturbed. On June 4th, on the 
proposition of the French envoy, the governments of the 
eight powers were simultaneously informed by telegram 
that " we may at any time be besieged here, with the 
railway and telegraph lines cut " ; and they were asked 
to instruct their' naval authorities to " take concerted 
measures for our relief" ; and the question was declared 
to be most urgent. [33] The cutting of communications 
was imminent. " The last trains left Makiapu on the 
9th ; the last telegrams were despatched on the 10th ; the 
special postal courier sent overland on the 15th failed to 
reach Tientsin ; and the last letter that got up from 
Tientsin was dated 16th and received 18th.' '[34] The 
admirals had also been communicated with and were ready 
for any eventuality ; but no explicit orders had been 
received from any of the home authorities when, on 
June 9th, the British admiral, Sir Edward Seymour, then 
with the other admirals off Taku, received a telegram sent 
at 8.30 p.m. by Sir C. MacDonald — " Situation extremely 
grave ; unless arrangements are made for immediate 
advance to Peking it will be too late. "[35] The admiral 

[32] Tel. Peking, June 5th, North-China Herald, June 6th, 1900. 

[33] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, June 4th, 5th, 1900, China, 
No. 3, 1900, pp. 34, 36 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, June^th, 7th, 8th, 1900, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1900, pp. 141, 142, 143; M. Pichon to M. Delcasse, 
June 3rd, 8th, 1900, Doc. Dip., 1900, pp. 30, 34. 

• [34] R. Hart, " These from the Land of Sinim," p. 15. The last tele- 
grams to reach the legations were those reporting the departure of the 
advance party, 500 strong, of the Seymour relief force. — Mr. Conger to 
Mr. Hay, June 11th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 144. There were no 
through trains after June 5th ; cf. postea, § 14. 

[35] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, June 10th, 1900, China, 
No. 4, 1900, p. 1; E. H. Seymour, " My Naval Career," p. 343 ; H. C. 
Thomson, " China and the Powers," p. 19. Instructions dated June 7th 
and 8th were sent by the British Admiralty giving Adm. Seymour a free 
hand, but were not received in time ; China, No. 3, 1900, pp. 39, 43. The 
American envoy also telegraphed on June 9th to Admiral Kempff that 
" railroad communication ought to be opened and a movement in force 
made on Peking if possible." — Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, June 11th, 1900, 
U.S. For.Hel., 1900, p. 144. 


lost no time, and left his flagship with his landing force 
within two hours. At Tientsin some objections were made 
to giving him a train, but these were over-ridden, and he 
started at 9.30 a.m. on June 10th with a portion of a mixed 
naval force ; the next day at Yangtsun he was joined by 
other detachments, bringing his total force to 2066, con- 
sisting of 915 British, 540 German, 312 Russian, # 158 
French, 112 American, 54 Japanese, 40 Italian and 25 
Austrian. [36] Admiral Seymour was in command as the 
senior officer present. [37] 

§ 10. The whole country around Peking " was filled 
with wild reports of pillage, arson and the murder of 
Christians " [38] ; and, on June 7th, " threats of impending 
troubles became more ominous, "[39] and, within a day 
or two, " the situation here has been daily growing worse," 
and " is now critical. "[40] On June 7th appeared an 
imperial decree on the Boxer troubles which w probably 
represented a compromise between the conflicting opinions 
existing at court " ; the " general tone was most unsatis- 
factory," and " a very bad effect was produced by it. "[41] 
The envoys now proposed to demand a personal audience 
with the empress dowager and the emperor in order to " put 
in plain terms the existence of so deplorable a state of 
things in North China," and to make " a strong intimation 
that, unless the Chinese government immediately sup- 
pressed the Boxers and re-established law and order, the 
foreign powers would be compelled themselves to take 
measures to that end." [42] They also, on June 8th, 
asked the Tsungli Yamen for permission to bring additional 
legation guards. [43] Both requests were categorically 
refused by the Chinese administration. The envoys were 

[36] Report, Sec. of Navy, U.S., 1900, p. 4. 

[37] Seymour, " My Naval Career," p. 342. 

[38] Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 212. ' 

[39] Ibid., p. 213. 

[40] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, June 11th, 1900. ubi sup. ;. Sir C. Mac- 
Donald to Lord Salisbury, June 8th, 1900, China, No. 3, 1900, p. 32 ; M. 
Pichon to M. Delcasse, June 8th, 1900, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 34. 

[41] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, June 7th, 8th, 1900, China, 
No. 3, 1900, pp. 39,42. 

[42] Same to same, June 8th, 1900, ibid., p. 43 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. 
Hay, June 8th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 143 ; M. Pichon to M. DeJ- 
cassd, June 9th, 1900, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 35. 

[43] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, June 11th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900. 
p. 144. 


only ministers plenipotentiary, without the privileges of 
ambassadors, and could not insist on the audience without 
express instructions ; these were sent, but arrived too late 
to be of use. The extra guards, permission for which had 
been refused, were sent for on June 9th. 

§ 11. The empress dowager and the emperor returned 
from the Iho palace at Yuenmingyuen to the imperial 
palace in the Forbidden City in Peking on June 9th. On 
that day and the next the Boxers were especially active 
around Peking : they burned the grand stand of the 
race-course, three miles west" of Peking, used chiefly as a 
centre for picnics ; they assaulted a party of legation 
students riding in that direction ; they burned the summer 
cottages of the British legation at the Western Hills ; and 
at Tungchow, thirteen miles south-east of Peking, they 
burned the premises of the American missionaries and 
massacred many of their converts. [44] The situation was 
fairly summarised in a telegram sent on June 8th by a 
meeting of American citizens to President McKinley but 
not received by him: " Boxers destroy chapels, ma cc ^re 
hundreds Christians, threaten exterminate all forefgners. 
Tungchow abandoned ; Paotingfu, Tsunhwa, extreme 
danger. Chinese troops useless. Attack Peking, Tientsin 
daily threatened. Railways destroyed, telegraphs cut. 
Chinese government paralysed. Imperial, edicts double- 
faced, favour Boxers. Universal peril. Unless situation 
promptly relieved, thirty Americans convened regard 
outlook practically hopeless. "[45] As a crowning threat 
an imperial decree of June 10th appointed the " malignantly 
anti-foreign " [46] Prince Twan to be president of the 
Tsungli Yamen conjointly with the" invertebrate Prince 

§ 12. It was time for outlying bodies of foreigners to 
get under cover. The missionaries in the interior had no 
place of refuge, but in and around Peking there had been 
much alarm, and from the end" of May many of the women 
and children had spent the night in the British legation. [47] 
One June 8th a rescue party, headed by Mr. W. S. Ament, 

[44] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, June 10th, 1900, China, 
No. 4, 1900, p. 1. 

[45] Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 216. 

[46] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, June 11th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 144. 

[47] Hart, " Sinim," p. 13. 


brought in from Tungchow the personnel of the American 
mission — six men, eleven women and seven children — 
besides " a considerable number of native Christians who 
dared remain no longer " ; the journey was effected without 
incident, " although a few hours later it would have been 
impossible. "[48] On the same day it was decided that all 
missionaries in Peking, who had not already taken shelter 
in the British and American legations, should concentrate 
in the compound of the American Methodist mission, east 
of the Hatamen Street ; there they formed their own 
volunteer guard of men and women, supported by twenty 
American marines. On June 9th the customs and college 
staffs, living a mile and a half away on the eastern side, 
were called in to the Inspectorate of Customs. On 
June 13th a rescue party brought in the priests and nuns 
from the Nantang, the Roman Catholic southern church ; 
other Catholics were concentrated in the Pehtang, guarded 
by forty-three French and Italian marines. Around the 
legation quarter a cordon was drawn, guarded by the 
legation guards ; this covered the Inspectorate of Customs 
and Posts, and all the legations except the Belgian 

§ 13. The Boxer adherents in Peking were much in 
evidence from June 9th. On the 11th Mr. Sugiyama, 
chancellor of the Japanese legation, was killed by Tung 
Fu-siang's Kansu troops just outside the Yungtingmen 
gate. On the 12th a wt full-fledged Boxer with his hair 
tied up in red cloth, red ribbons around his wrists and 
ankles, and a flaming red girdle " was seen flaunting along 
Legation Street, armed with a big carving knife ; he was 
summarily attacked and chastised with a walking stick by 
the German envoy, Baron von Ketteler ; he was kept a 
prisoner, but his companion escaped. [49] On June 13th 
great forces of Boxers, [50] girt with red sashes and armed 
with swords and spears, rushed into the Tartar City in a 
tumultuous crowd. They entered by the Hatamen gate, 

[48] Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 214. 

[49] Ibid., p. 236 ; Putnam vVeale, " Indiscreet Letters from Peking," 
p. 31. 

[50] " Myriads of Boxers." Putnam Weale, p. 35. " Several hundred 
Boxers." Diary, Chingshan, June 14th, p. 262. " The noise of a crowd 
and a rush of people were followed by the advent of the Boxers." Hart, 
" Sinim," p. 14. " A large force of Boxers." Sir C. MacDonald to Lord 
Salisbury, Sept. 20th, 1900, China, No. 4, 1900, p. 19. 


and, being deflected from the guarded legation quarter, 
they spread to the north, carrying fire and devastation 
in all directions. During the following night all foreign 
premises, outside the three guarded areas, were completely 
destroyed and plundered ; the converts at the R.C. Tung- 
tang were massacred, with their pastors [51] ; the Nantang 
premises were entirely destroyed, but a volunteer party, 
headed by M. Fliche, brought in four priests, five French 
nuns, and twenty Chinese nuns, and later " 2000 Chinese 
converts, mostly women and children, who were but the 
survivors of a massacre intended to be complete. "[52] The 
shops of dealers in foreign goods were destroyed and plun- 
dered ; so were those of dealers in valuable commodities ; 
so too, in no long time, were the houses of well-to-do Manchus 
and Chinese, the plundering of which spread over several 
days. [53] The destruction was on an enormous scale ; 
the Protestant missions alone, seven in number, lost thirty- 
four dwelling houses, eighteen chapels, twelve boys' 
schools, eleven girls' schools, four training schools, eleven 
dispensaries and eight hospitals, all within the walls of 
Peking. [54] The cemeteries of the foreign community 
were also desecrated, bodies being disinterred and tomb- 
stones broken. 

§ 14. While the community at Peking was thus be- 
leaguered, that at Tientsin was in an equally perilous situa- 
tion. On June 2nd it was reported that incendiarism was 
common in the foreign concessions [55] ; and the arrival of 
the refugees from Paotingfu [56] on June 4th. gave assur- 
ance that the country to the west and south-west was up 
in arms. There was no railway communication with 
Peking after June 5th, [57] and the Tientsin end of the line 

[51] " Our post was so close to the Tungtang that we could hear the 
yells and screams of the fiends that were destroying and murdering, and 
those of their victims too ; we learned afterwards that many native 
Christians had fled to this their church for safety and had been slaughtered 
or burnt to death within its walls." — MS. notes of J. H. Macoun of the 
Customs, a volunteer during the siege. 

[52] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, ubi sup. 

[53] Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 237 ; Diary, Chingshan, June 14th, 
17th, p. 262 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, June 15th, 18th, 1900, U.S. For. 
Rel., 1900, pp. 151, 154. 

[54] Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 238. 

[55] Corresp. Tientsin, June 2nd,North-China Herald, June 13th, 1900. 

[56] Cf, antea, § 7. 

[57] H. C. Thomson, " China and the Powers," p. 9. 


to Tangku, at the mouth of the river, was torn up on the 
17th. [5,8] The Boxer forces made their tumultuous irrup- 
tion into the city of Tientsin on June 14th, a day later 
than at Peking, and, as at Peking, the official administra- 
tion took no steps to check their excesses ; in fact proof 
was afterwards obtained that the viceroys' yamen was the 
headquarters of the Boxer society, muster rolls and member- 
ship cards in great number having been found there. [59] 
" The Boxer typhoon centred over the native city and 
spread havoc in its path," as it had in Peking ; its adherents 
brought officials and gentry alike to their knees, and " slew 
those who sympathised or associated with foreigners with 
an ardor that turned the place into a ghastly hole and the 
river into a veritable bier. "[60] Many buildings in the 
city and its suburbs were burned ;. and, on the nights of 
June 14th 'and 15th, the armed mob destroyed all the 
mission chapels and the French cathedral, Notre Dame des 
Victoires, which had met the same fate in 1870. 

§ 15. There had already been consultations between 
the consuls at Tientsin and the naval authorities off 
Taku, but no concerted action had been taken. At Tient- 
sin there were 1700 Russian troops, who had arrived from 
Port Arthur just too late to join Admiral Seymour; 560 
marines of different nationalities ; and enough volunteers 
to bring the total to about 2400. On June 15th a council 
of the admirals [61] was held at which it was recorded that 
numerous movements of Chinese troops had been obseryed, 
that there had been attempts to break up the Tientsin- 
Tangku railway, and that mines had been laid at the 
mouth of the Peiho ; and it was resolved that steps must 
be taken to preserve the railway and to protect Che Tientsin 
community. [62] A guard of 300 Japanese was at once 
sent to Tangku, and another of 250 French and Russians 
to Chunliangcheng further up the line. Meantime the 
Boxers continued their devastation and slaughter, " the 
river being full of the bodies of Chinese sympathisers with 
the foreigners, who had been killed by the Boxers and 

[58] Decennial Reports, 1892-1901, ii, Tientsin, p. 517. 
[59] North-China Herald, Aug. 8th, 1900. 
[60] Decennial Reports, ii, p. 517. 

[61] Three of the powers (Japan, Italy and Austria- Hungary) were 
represented by senior captains. 

[62] Savage-Landor, " China and the Allies," i,.p. 113. 


thrown into it " [63] ; on the night of June 14t^ three 
mission chapels in the city were burned, and, on the night 
of the 15th, the French cathedral and the remaining 
mission buildings were destroyed. The admirals felt that 
they were confronted by a condition and not by a theory, 
and, at a conference held on the 16th, it was decided to 
send an ultimatum demanding the delivery into their 
hands, before 2 a.m. of June 17th, of the Taku forts guard- 
ing the entrance to the Peiho. Landing parties of 935 
men of six nationalities were put ashore in the afternoon, 
and the light- draught gunboats, nine of six nationalities, 
took up their position inside the forts after dark ; the big 
ships were out of range outside the bar. The Chinese 
garrison opened an offensive- defensive fire at 0.45 a.m., 
an hour and a quarter before the ultimatum expired. The 
fire was returned ; at dawn the storming party began their 
assault ; and by 6.30 a.m. the last of the forts was in their 
possession. The loss of the allies was 64 killed and 89 
wounded. [64] 

§ 16. In these decisions and proceedings the American 
Admiral Kempff had taken no part. On June 14th he 
informed the British Admiral Bruce that he " was not 
authorised to initiate any act of war with a country with 
which my country was at peace." On the 15th he refused 
to join in the occupation of the Tangku railway station 
on the ground that he " could not join in taking possession 
of Chinese government property." Of the seizure of the 
Taku forts he remarks simply — " I did not join in the 
attack on the forts. Captain Wise of the Monocacy had 
orders to protect American interests, but in case of attack 
by the Chinese government force he was to consider it 
as a declaration of war and act accordingly. "[65] The 
American ship Monocacy gave a shelter to the foreign 
community of Taku, and, by a curious chance, was the 
first ship to be hit by a Chinese shell. Admiral Kempff's 
abstention was approved by President McKinley on the 
ground that " we were not at war with China* and that a 
hostile demonstration might consolidate the anti-foreign 

[63] H. C. Thomson, " China ana the Powers," p. 35. 

[64] North-China Herald, June 20th, Aug. 15th, 1900 ; Decennial 
Reports, p. 515 ; Savage-Landor, i, pp. 112 seq. ; H. C. Thomson, p. 31. 

[65] Adm. Kempff's report tc Sec. Navy, July 17th, 1900, cited in 
H. C. Thomson, op. cit., p. 25. 


elements and strengthen the Boxers to oppose the relieving 
column. "[66] 

§ 17. Was the seizure of the forts both wise and timely ? 
The admirals were responsible for opening communica- 
tions and for protecting foreign interests, in life and in 
property, in North China ; no troops had yet arrived, 
except about 2000 Russians from Port Arthur ; the small 
guards sent to the Peking legations were naval, Admiral 
Seymour's force to reinforce the legations was naval except 
for the Russians, and the force guarding Tientsin consisted 
of 1700 Russian troops and 560 naval ratings ; and further 
land forces were not expected for some days. Moreover 
the admirals were the deciding authority ; the British 
Admiralty instructions of June 7th and 8th, giving Admiral 
Seymour a free hand, had not been received by him at 
11 p.m. on June 9th [67] ; the only channel of speedy 
communication was over Chinese telegraph lines through a 
country in a state of insurrection ; and telegraphic com- 
munication with the foreign envoys at Peking had been 
interrupted since June 10th. Some decision was necessary : 
to act was to decide ; to do nothing was equally a decision. 
On June 15th the admirals made a half decision in resolving 
to guard the Tangku end of their railway communication 
with Tientsin. On that night the native city of Tientsin 
was given over to Boxer excesses, and on the 16th the 
admirals made their decision. In his dissenting vote 
Admiral Kempff, in effect, avoided a decision. By the 
letter of his regulations he was technically correct in 
avoiding an act of aggression against a country with which 
his own country was not at war ; whether " a hostile 
demonstration might consolidate the anti- foreign elements " 
was a political question, not for his decision, but for the 
ultimate decision of his superiors at Washington and the 
American envoy at Peking, with both of whom he had lost 
touch ; but he neglected the first duty of a naval officer 
on a foreign station, that of protecting the representative 
of his country and, a more imperative duty, of covering 
his own detachments landed on shore ; and he forgot the 
declaration by his predecessor at Taku in 1859 that " blood 

[66] Message to congress cited in ibid., p. 22. 

[67] " Time was not given for any reply . . . about 11 p.m. on 
9th June."— E. H. Seymour, " My Naval Career," p. 343. 


is thicker than water.' * In his further duty of pro- 
tecting the lives of American citizens there was a divided 

§ 18. Was the decision wise ? The attitude of the 
empress dowager was doubtful ; she might " keep her own 
counsel,"[68] but her acts had been sufficient to show that, 
beyond any doubt, her sympathies were fully with the 
Boxers and with those Manchus who would use them as 
allies to expel foreigners [69] ; she had, it is true, given an 
assurance on June 11th, by the mouth of two friendly 
Chinese ministers, Yuen Chang and Hsu Ching-cheng, that 
full protection would be given to the legations ; but the 
reporter stated that " their manner on the present occasion 
struck me as that of men not speaking from their own 
conviction. "[70] The palace officials were to a man 
actively anti- foreign, except only the out- spoken Junglu 
and the irresolute Prince Ching. In the administration 
nearly all the Manchus were aggressively anti-foreign ; 
and on June 10th the most energetically hostile among 
them, Prince Twan, had been placed at the head of the 
Tsungli Yamen, which controlled all foreign affairs and 
was actually the cabinet of the empire. The viceroy at 
Tientsin, Yulu, was an adherent of Junglu and was legitim- 
ately believed to be friendly ; this was afterwards found 
not to have been true, and the adhesion to the Boxers of 
this supposedly friendly official was taken as proof that he 
must have acted under superior orders in the first half of 
June. His entire province of Chihli was in a state of insur- 
rection, which the administration had clearly shown itself 
unable to suppress, and which the responsible foreign 
authorities had declared the administration was unwilling 
to coerce. [7 1] It therefore now, as on all previous occa- 
sions during the preceding sixty years, devolved on the 
armed foreign force to protect the Kvps of foreigners within 
the measure of its capacity ; and for this the first step was 

[68] Cf. antea, § 8. 

[69] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, June 10th, Sept. 20th, 1900, 
China, No. 4, 1900, pp. 1,19; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, June 11th, 15th, 18th, 
Aug. 17th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, pp. 144, 151, 154, 161 ; M. Pichon 
to M. Delcasse, June 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th,' 1900, Doc. Dip., 1900, pp. 30, 32, 
35, 37. 

[70] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 20th, 1900, China, 
No. 4, 1900, p. 19. 

[71] Cf. n. 69 supra. 

Ill— 14 


to secure the point of entry giving access to the endangereu 

§ 19. The foreign lives to be protected were in four 
classes. There were first the detached bodies of foreigners 
scattered through the interior, almost entirely mission- 
aries, as the railway staffs had for the most part already 
gone to shelter ; then there were the naval detachments 
with Admiral Seymour ; then the Peking community, 
already concentrated ; and finally the foreign residents at 
Tientsin, known to the admirals to be in a perilous situa- 
tion. The scattered missionaries were known to be in 
danger ; on June 6th the American government expressed 
its solicitude — " Friends of American missionaries at 
Paotingfu are solicitous on account of press reports ; 
are they adequately protected ? "[72] It was informed 
in reply — " Chinese government has sent troops and 
promises ample protection, but this does not insure per- 
manent safety. "[73] A few days before the forts were 
taken, a consul said at a meeting held at Tientsin — " If 
you take the forts, you will be signing the death warrant 
of every foreigner in the interior." The prediction was 
true ; but it cannot be asserted that their safety would 
have been secured if the admirals had delayed action. 
The wholesale murders of missionaries occurred, with one 
exception, entirely in districts within close reach of the 
palace camarilla, as at Paotingfu, or in Shansi within the 
jurisdiction of Yuhsien, known to have been actively hostile 
to foreigners, and soon to make himself " infamous for 
ever."[74] Under such protection the missionaries could 
not possibly have escaped, and we must be careful not to 
argue that a subsequent event is necessarily the consequence 
of an earlier act. The Seymour force had been summoned 
to Peking on the urgent appeal of the responsible envoys 
for reinforcements to their scanty legation guards ; it was 
already blocked, on June 11th, unable to advance further, 
with scanty supplies of food and water ; and its dangerous 
position was known to the admirals. A sailor's first duty, 
his most imperative obligation, is to save his detachments 

[72] Mr. Hill to Mr. Conger, June 6th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 142. 
[73] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, June 8th, 1900, ibid. 

[74] Hart, " Sinim," pp. 105, 137. " The most infamous of them 
all."— Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 550. 


from being overwhelmed if any precaution can save them ; 
and for this the obviously necessary step was to maintain 
or open up communications. On the consequences of the 
seizure of the forts to those in Peking it is only necessary to 
quote two authorities, neither of them bellicose or unfriendly 
to China. Sir R. Hart says — " Our alarm apart, it was 
fortunate for us eventually that the forts were thus taken, 
for, had that not been done, not only ourselves at Peking, 
but our sorely pressed countrymen at Tientsin, would have 
fared far worse. "[75] Dr. A. H. Smith says — " Neverthe- 
less, if the Taku forts had not been taken within a few 
hours of that time, it is a moral certainty that, not only 
would the legations in Peking have been even in far greater 
peril than they were placed by this act, but that it would 
have been hard to save the lives of a single man, woman or 
child of the large numbers who were at Tientsin, and who, 
as it was, were rescued from deadly peril only with the 
greatest difficulty. "[76] 

§ 20. The Chinese government took the seizure of the 
Taku forts as a declaration of war by the united foreign 
powers, and at once opened hostilities. Thereafter, for 
the first time, armed troops in uniform openly attacked 
foreigners ; but the question arises whether the act was a 
ground for hostilities, or an eagerly awaited pretext. The 
admirals had but a limited view of the political situation 
after the telegraph to Peking was cut on June 10th ; but 
certain movements were observed by them. ■ There was 
some movement of General Nieh's troops eastward from 
Tientsin, movement of other troops was seen in proximity 
to and in the direction of the forts, men were seen laying 
mines in the river and at its mouth, and if action was 
to be taken a prompt decision was necessary. [77] These 
were specific acts visible at Taku ; but the atmosphere 
was charged with electricity everywhere. On June 12th 
Sir C. MacDonald telegraphed [78] — " Inform relief party 
the mutinous Kansu soldiery, who are to-day in possession 

[75] Hart, " Sinim," p. 133. 

[76] Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 436. See also Sir B. K. Douglas, 
*' Europe and the Far East," p. 348 ; Seymour, "My Naval Career," p. 348. 

[77] Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 436 ; Savage-Landor, " China and 
the Allies," i, pp. 112, 115. 

[78] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, June 12th, 1900, China, No, 
3, 1900, p. 52. Two or three telegrams only were allowed through after 


of the Peking terminus, may offer them some resistance 
there. Government of China seems powerless. ... If 
necessary, I hope admirals will not have the least hesita- 
tion in depleting their ships." On June 14th he was 
informed by 'a friendly trustworthy Chinese source " 
that at a meeting of the Grand Council it had been decided 
to attack Admiral Seymour's force with the imperial 
troops [79] ; and our Manchu authority states that, on the 
same day, " 4 Kangyi believes she [the empress dowager] 
is about to give her consent to a general attack upon the 
legations " [80] ; and, two days earlier, that it was rumoured 
that " more foreign troops are coming to Peking and that 
the empress dowager will not permit them to enter the 
city. "[81] The American envoy reported that, at 2 a.m. 
on the morning of June 17th, '* our outposts on three 
different streets were stealthily fired upon by Chinese 
soldiers ; in front of the American guards a new Mauser 
rifle and cartridge box, together with a piece of a Chinese 
soldier's uniform, were picked up. . . . During yesterday 
[17th] a conflict occurred between a small German guard 
and Chinese soldiers, in which five of the latter were 
killed. "[82] Of the Chinese intentions but little evidence 
could be obtained ; but the indications at Taku were sup- 
ported by these indications at Peking in showing that the 
seizure of the forts was not the causa causans of China's 
opening of hostilities, but was eagerly grasped by the 
anti- foreign party as a conclusive argument to silence 
their opponents and to push the administration into active 
hostilities. On the military side there is but one criticism 
of the admirals' decision, that it was not made earlier ; 
the relief of Tientsin and of Peking was not made any 
the more necessary, but an earlier decision would have made 
it easier. On the political side it may perhaps be said 
that the seizure brought in its train the massacre of the 
missionaries, but that is not indisputable ; and by the 

June 3 0th, this and one of June 14th from Sir C. MacDonald, one of 
June 11th and one of June 12th from M. Pichon, none from Mr. Conger. 

[79] Same to same, Sept. 20th, 1900, China, No. 4, 1900, p. 19. Cf. 
postea, n. 90. 

[80] Chingshan, Diary, June 14th, p. 263. 

[81] Ibid., June 12th, p. 262. 

[82] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay. June 18th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, 
p. 151. Cf. also Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 20th, 1900, 
China, No. 4, 1900, p. 19. 


seizure alone was the rescue of the Seymour force and of 
the communities at Peking and Tientsin rendered even 

§ 21. Admiral Seymour left Tientsin on June iOth with 
475 men, and was joined on the 11th by three train-loads, 
bringing his force to a strength of 2066 as already shown. [83] 
The bridge crossing the Peiho at Yangtsun, twenty miles 
from Tientsin, was still intact, and here he " found General 
Nieh's troops, some 4000 strong, but we exchanged friendly 
greetings, crossed the river, and went on till that afternoon, 
when we had to stop and repair the line which the Boxers 
had torn up."[84] From that point he had constantly 
to repair the line and rebuild bridges, but was able on 
June 12th to reach Langfang, forty miles from Tientsin 
and half-way between that city and Peking. There during 
several days he had constant brushes with the Boxers ; 
the " invulnerables," armed with clubs, swords and 
spears, suffered heavy losses in killed and wounded, while 
the casualties of the relieving force were small. From 
that point " the line was too badly damaged for us to 
repair it," though the force worked hard at the task, 
amid constant attacks ; and the advance was brought to 
a standstill. " We were now isolated, with no transport 
or means to advance, and cut off from our base behind. "[85] 
Admiral Seymour himself admitted later that, in view of 
Sir C. MacDonald's telegram calling for speedy relief, " an 
immediate dash to save the legations was the only course 
to pursue " [86] ; and this was the opinion of others better 
informed. The American envoy, a soldier of the American 
Civil War, wrote — " We cannot understand why, if they 
find it impossible to readily repair the railway, they do not, 
with the larger part of their command, march directly 
here."[87] Sir R. Hart said— " Had his force left the 
train and marched straight across the country to the 
capital it could have been with us on the 13th or 14th 
and so changed history, for opposition was not yet or- 

[83] Cf. antea, § 9. 

[84] Seymour, " My Naval Career," p. 344. 

T85] Ibid., p. 346. 

[86] Ibid., ubi sup. 

[87] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, June 18th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, 
p. 151. Edwin Hurd Conger attained the rank of major in the civil 


ganised<"[88] But a sailor commanding on shore [89] 
could not be expected to see the situation so clearly ; the 
opposition was not far from being organised [90] ; Admiral 
Seymour's position was rather one of influence, as the 
senior officer, than of command ; he led a conglomerate 
body of eight nationalities ; and he was not equipped for 
forcing his way into the city of Peking, girt with massive 
walls and guarded by unknown thousands of troops. The 
expedition was serviceable for one result, in that " it dis- 
posed once for all of the favorite proposition so often 
advanced that it would be possible for a small but well 
organised and thoroughly equipped foreign force to march 
through China from end to end without effective opposi- 

§ 22. The expedition was absolutely blocked at Lang- 
fang, and, on June 16th, it was decided to repair the line 
backwards and return to Tientsin, and there, if possible, 
to organise an advance by river. At Yangtsun the bridge 
was found to have been destroyed, and some native boats 
were seized on the 19th, enough to provide transport for the 
wounded, and for provisions, field-guns and ammunition. 
Meantime, as the result of the seizure of the Taku forts, 
the rear guard at Langfang was attacked, on June 18th, 
by Tung Fu-siang's Kansu troops,, some 5000 strong, 
the first imperial troops to engage in open hostilities else- 
where than at Tientsin ; and from that day until the 23rd 
the attacks of these and other imperial troops were constant. 
At 4 p.m. on June 21st two bodies, one British, one German, 
crossed the river and captured the arsenal at Hsiku, three 
miles from, Tientsin, five miles from the foreign settlement, 
finding the -e abundant food, and munitions of war of the 
estimated value of £3,000 000 sterling. This was held 
against a determined attack by a large Chinese force on 
June 23rd ; on June 25th the international force was 

[88] Hart, " Sinim," p. 11. 

[89] A British admiral, Sir E. Freemantle, said to the author in 1 895. 
referring to a detachment of his men on shore, " I don't like it ; a sailor's 
place is on board ship." 

[90] On June 16th a palace council discussed the question of hostilities 
against foreigners, the Manchus being solidly in favour of immediate action. 
It was decided, as a compromise, to send Natung and Hsu Ching-chang 
to " persuade " Admiral Seymour to return to Tientsin. — Smith, " Convul- 
sion," i, p. 244. 

[91] Ibid., ii, p. 443. 


relieved by a body of troops, chiefly Russian, from Tientsin ; 
and on June 26th, after destroying the arsenal and its 
contents, all returned to Tientsin. In a force of 2066, the 
killed were 62 and the wounded 238. In his report Admiral 
Seymour made special reference to the value of the services 
of Captain John Jellicoe, R.N., Captain B. H. McCalla, 
U.S.N., Captain von Usedom of the German navy, all of 
whom were severely wounded ; Mr. C. W. Campbell, of 
the British consular service, and Captain Clive Bigham, 
who had been useful as interpreters and intelligence 
officers. [92] 

§ 23. At Tientsin, after the departure of Admiral 
Seymour, the foreign concessions were guarded by a force 
of about 2400 men, of whom 1700 were Russian infantry, 
who came up on June 14th. The first few days were days 
of alarm, marked by many incendiary fires, by the flight 
of Chinese servants, and by commotion, depredation, and 
murder, all around. The community took such precau- 
tions as were possible, and gathered all the women and 
children together in the municipal hall, known as .Gordon 
Hall. The seizure of the. Taku forts precipitated matters 
and, at 3 p.m. of June 17th, heavy guns in and behind the 
Chinese city opened fire on the foreigri concessions, and 
imperial soldiers started sniping from across the river, 
causing many casualties ; some desultory attacks by the 
troops were repulsed. On June 18th an allied force tried 
to advance by the railway line to the relief of Admiral 
Seymour, but was compelled to return. On the 19th a 
force drove back two guns from a threatening position 
across the river, but in the end was compelled to retire ; 
shelling and sniping continued through the day. On the 
20th shelling and sniping, and so on each day, causing 
many casualties, until the relief. Fired on from not less 
than sixty heavy guns, sniped at by many thousand soldiers, 
threatened by the lawless doings of the Boxers during 
several days, the. foreign concessions seemed in a perilous 
situation. The attitude which might be assumed by Yuen 
Shih-kai in Shantung was not known, and on it the consuls 

[92 J Decennial Reports, Tientsin, ii, p. 514 ; Seymour, " My Naval 
Career," p. 345 ; Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 439 ; H. C. Thomson, " China 
and the Powers," p. 12 ; Savage- Landor, " China and the Allies," i, pp. 


could give no assurance ; while the attitude which might 
be taken by the imperial government was only too well 
known. Under these conditions the military authorities 
then in Tientsin decided that, if a relieving force did not 
arrive very soon, it would be necessary to withdraw to 
a base at Taku. Such a withdrawal must have deprived 
the Peking community of their last chance of rescue, and 
placed Shanghai and other northern ports in danger. 

§ 24. From this disaster the world was saved by the 
bold action of a few brave men. Communication with 
Taku had been difficult since June 14th, and quite cut since 
the 17th, and the military and naval authorities there had 
no information on events at Tientsin. On the night of 
June 18th a Taku pilot, Mr. Seeberg, accompanied by 
eight English sailors and one French officer, started down 
river in a steam launch, but the party was compelled to 
land at dawn ; they made their way to the outpost at 
Chiinliangcheng during the following night, and Mr. 
Seeberg delivered his despatches at Tangku on the 20th. 
On the night of June 19th a young Englishman, Mr. James 
Watts, escorted by three Cossacks, rode through the 
darkness and delivered his despatches also on the 20th. [93] 
A relief column of many nationalities was at once formed 
and fought its way up, through the heat, with scanty food, 
and with water from streams poisoned by floating corpses ; 
and, after a running fight of twelve miles and overcoming 
serious resistance with heavy losses, it arrived within 
touch of Tientsin on the evening of the 22nd, and entered 
the foreign concessions on the morning of June 23rd. A 
strong column proceeded to the relief of Admiral Seymour's 
force and brought it in on June 26th. Tientsin was 
relieved, the women and children were sent away by sea, 
and the relieving force was in its turn besieged. [94] 

§ 25. The Peking community was in a state of " semi- 
siege " [95] from June 8th to the 20th, concentrated in 
three quarters — the legation area, the Pehtang, and the 

[93] " Mr. Watts' intimate knowledge of the country made the feat 
possible, but the bravery of his act was not diminished through its not 
being foolhardy." — Consul W. R. Carles to Lord Salisbury, cited in H. C. 
Thomson, " China and the Powers," p. 37. 

[94] Decennial Reports, Tientsin, ii, p. 517 ; Smith, " Convulsion," 
ii, p. 444 ; H. C. Thomson, " China and the Powers," p. 34 ; Savage- 
Landor, " China and the Allies," i, pp. 136-149. 

[95] Smith, " Convulsion," chap, xiv, passim. 


American Methodist mission. During all this time in- 
cendiarism and plundering were rife throughout the city, 
especially in those districts in which portable articles having 
intrinsic value were to be found ; the fires spread to the 
wooden tower over the Tsienmen, the principal imperial 
entrance to the city, and destroyed it. The government 
made no effort to restrain the excesses of the Boxers, and 
many Manchus in high places were known to be active 
supporters of their cause and of the truculence of Tung 
Fu-siang [96] ; it is worthy of note that the release 
of the Boxer beaten and arrested by the German envoy on 
June 12th was demanded by a personal visit of Chungli, 
governor of Peking, accompanied by two other high 
officials. [97] The Pehtang was put in a state of defence, 
guards of volunteers patrolled the Methodist mission, and 
barricades were erected to protect the legations* The 
Boxers, armed with sword and spear, roamed around the 
defences and assumed a threatening aspect ; they made 
occasional dashes at apparently unprotected points, from 
which they were repelled with as little effusion of blood as 
possible. When the Boxers burst into the city on June 13th, 
they were turned aside from the legations by rifle fire ; 
but that night they were allowed without interference to 
burn and massacre at the Nantang, the Tungtang, and 
elsewhere ; and the next day an armed mob was dispersed 
by volunteers armed with riding-whips, so as to avoid 
drawing first blood. [98] This policy was dictated by the 
envoys, who never lost the hope that the Chinese govern- 
ment would rise to a sense of its obligations, and who held 
frequent conferences with some of the Chinese ministers 
during these anxious days. [99] The envoys were, however, 
much disheartened by the reports received regularly from 
Admiral Seymour of his inability to make progress ; and 
they realised that " it was hardly possible that, if Chinese 
troops were employed against the admiral, they would not 

[96] Chingshan, Diary, June 1st, 8th, 10th, 14th, 17th, pp. 258-264. 

[97] Smith, " Convulsion,*' i, p. 236. 

[98] " It was decided to attack them only with riding whips, so as 
to avoid drawing first blood. We could not get into their barricades, so 
marines and sailors were requisitioned with axes." — Putnam Weale, 
" Indiscreet Letters," p. 32. 

[99] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept, 20th, 1900, China, 
No. 4, 1900, p. 19. 


also be let loose against tht legations, and the outlook was 
consequently very dark. "[100] 

§ 26. The government performed no overt act, either 
in restraining the Boxer excesses or in threatening the lega- 
tions. On June 16th an imperial decree referred to " the 
feud between the people and the converts, which had led 
to many cases of arson and pillage," and ordered Junglu 
to post troops for the better protection of the legations. [101] 
A telegraphed report of the admirals' ultimatum demanding 
the surrender of the Taku forts must have been received 
that night, and the seizure of the forts, must have been 
known the next morning ; but the day of June 17th passed 
quietly and no intimation was made by the Chinese. 
Heavy gun fire was opened on the Tientsin concessions at 
3 p.m. on June 17th, and still no intimation was given. 
On the 18th three ministers, including Hsu Ching-cheng, 
called to ask that Admiral Seymour's force be ordered to 
turn back, but the demand was refused; "the simplest 
and perhaps the most probable explanation is that the 
peace party in the government were permitted to amuse 
themselves with negotiations and discussions which their 
opponents had no intention of allowing to be anything 
but sterile and useless. "[102] That same afternoon Tung 
Fu-siang's Kansu troops, only the day before at Peking,[103] 
were launched against the Seymour force. For seventy- 
two hours after the admirals' ultimatum was delivered, 
for sixty hours after the seizure of the forts, with the 
telegraph open for Chinese despatches, the government 
gave to the legations no intimation of past events, and 
delivered no protest. 

§ 27. On the morning of June 19th there was printed 
fn the leading newspaper of Shanghai an editorial denounc- 
ing the Chinese administration in strong terms. 

" China is at war with all the great powers at once, and she is at 
war by the choice of the empress dowager and her gang. In their 
colossal ignorance and conceit they have persuaded themselves that 
they could safely defy the foreign powers. . . . Whatever happens, 
this gang, if it does not go of its own accord, must be driven out 
of Peking. It is to be hoped that it will be possible to get out the 

[100] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 20th, T900, China, 
No. 4, 1900, p. 19. 

[101] Ibid. [102] Ibid. [103] Ibid. 


emperor Kwanghsii and replace him on the throne. Meantime it 
should be made perfectly clear to the Chinese that it is the empress 
dowager who has undertaken the present war, and that we are not 
fighting China, but the usurping government at Peking.' '[104] 

On that day, June 19th, a meeting of the Grand Council 
was held at which the empress dowager announced that she 
would postpone until the next day a decision on the action 
to be taken in consequence of the seizure of the Taku forts. 
Then " Prince Twan, Kisiu and Natung [105] showed her a 
despatch from the foreign ministers couched in the most 
insolent language, demanding her immediate abdication, 
the degradation of the heir apparent, and the restoration 
of the emperor ; they also asked that the emperor should 
allow. 10,000 foreign troops to enter Peking to restore 
order. Kangyi came to tell me that never had he seen the 
Old Buddha [106] so angry, not even when she learned of 
Kang Yu-wei's treason. ' How dare they question my 
authority ! ' she exclaimed. 8 If I can bear this, what 
must not be borne ? The insults of these foreigners pass 
all bounds. Let us exterminate them before we eat our 
morning meal.' The wrath of the Old Buddha is indeed 
beyond control ; neither Junglu nor any other can now 
stop her."[107] 

§ 28. Furens quid jemina — Hell hath no fury like a 
woman scorned. Though not available to the foreign 
envoys, the telegraph line was still open to Chinese [108] ; 
and it seems to be a justifiable inference that a summary 
of the editorial was telegraphed to Peking, and was there 
utilised to draw up a forged despatch purporting to come 
from the diplomatic body. The empress dowager had long 
avoided committing herself to any position from which 
she could not withdraw, but now the statesman was lost 
in the woman and she gave the word which let slip the 

[104] North-China Daily News, June 19th, reproduced in its weekly 
edition, the North-China Herald, June 20th, 1900. 

[105] Among the leaders of the party of aggression. 

[106] A title of respect applied to the empress dowager. 

[107] Chingshan, Diary, June 20th, p. 265. Chingshan was Kangyi's 
brother-in-law. • 

[108] The Chinese newspaper " Hupao " of Shanghai was able to issue 
at 3 p.m. on June 17th an extra giving an account, correct in its details, 
of the seizure of the Taku forts that morning.— Nortji-China Herald, 
June 20th, 1900. 


dogs of war. A later meeting of her full council was held, 
at which were present the empress dowager and the 
emperor ; the leading members of the imperial clan ; the 
princes Kung, Chun and Twan ; the beilehs Tsailien and 
Tsaiying ; the beitze Ying ; duke Lan ; Prince Ching 
and the five Grand Councillors ; the princes Chwang, Su 
and Yi ; the Manchu and Chinese co-presidents of the six 
ministries and nine courts ; the lieutenants-general of the 
twenty- four Banner divisions ; and the comptrollers of the 
imperial household ; but Junglu was not present. It was 
the High Council of the Manchu Empire, composed mainly 
of Manchus, with a small knot of Chinese eminent in the 
state. The empress dowager made a long and impassioned 
speech, inveighing against the insolence of the foreigners, 
their culminating insult being the despatch which had 
been shown to her, and calling for revenge. The only 
voices against war were those of the Manchu Lishan and 
the Chinese Yuen Chang and Hsu Ching-cheng ; a Chinese, 
Chao Shu-kiao, junior member of the Grand Council, 
demanded the extermination of every foreigner in the 
interior ; the Manchu nobles generally called for war. 
The decree proclaiming a war against all foreigners was 
ordered to be promulgated. [109] 

§ 29. This council was held on June 20th at the period 
3 to 5 a.m., the usual hour for the Old Buddha's audiences. 
Prior to this an attempt had been made to give a diplo- 
matic cloak to the intended opening of hostilities, and, 
at the same time, to make a concession in form to the 
appeals of Junglu, who had constantly urged the sanctity 
of ambassadors and the necessity of protecting the 
envoys from injury and insult ; as early as June 17th he 
had urged the empress dowager to allow him to escort 
the envoys in safety to Tientsin. [110] On June 19th, be- 
tween 4 and 5 p.m. [Ill] the members of the diplomatic 
body received identical despatches, "carefully dated 

[109] Chingshan, Diary, June 20th, p. 267. 

[110] Ibid., June 17th, p. 264. 

An imp. decree in Gazette of June 1 7th orders Junglu to detail soldiers 
of his field force to protect the legations ; "if the envoys and their families 
wisn to go for a time to Tientsin, they must be protected on the way." — 
U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 168. Cf. also postea, n. 128. No steps were taken 
in this direction. 

[Ill] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hav, Aug. 17th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, 
p. 16.1 ; M. Pichon to M. Delcasse, Aug. 28th, 1900, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 199. 


4 o'clock,"[112] from the Tsungli Yamen giving them their 
first information of the ultimatum delivered by the admirals, 
but not stating that the forts had been seized ; and re- 
quiring [113] the envoys, with their families, their staffs, 
the guards, and all foreigners, to leave Peking for Tientsin 
within twenty-four hours ; troops had been told off to 
provide an escort on the journey. 

§ 30. The envoys were dumbfoundered. They had 
been closely beleaguered since the 16th, and knew nothing 
of the situation at Taku or Tientsin 5 they had for some 
days lost touch with the Seymour force : they had a small 
mixed force of guards, all too scanty for a defence, quite 
insufficient for a march ; and yet they did not see what 
else they could do than to accede to the order to leave 
Peking, even with full knowledge that any Chinese troops, 
however well intentioned their commanders might be, were 
absolutely untrustworthy and undisciplined, and would 
create the danger they were supposed to guard against. 
The diplomatic body drew up a note expressing their 
astonishment at the sudden demand, and pointing out the 
necessity of a conference in order to settle the details of 
the march, the form of escort, and the means of transport ; 
and asking for an interview with the Tsungli Yamen at 
9 a.m. on June 20th. [114] In their official reports the 
envoys generally represented this note as one solely 
designed to gain time, in order that, by further representa- 
tions, they might persuade the Chinese administration of 
the folly of its procedure [115] ; they must have known 
the untrust worthiness of Chinese troops, and it is possible 
that the explanation given later was true at the time ; but 
it was not then or later credited by those in Peking qualified 
to know. " There was a general agreement among the 
members of the different legations that it would be neces- 
sary to leave the capital, perhaps in great haste " ; and 
at the meeting " Baron von Ketteler strongly dissented 
from the almost unanimous opinion of his colleagues that 

[112] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 20th, 1900, China, 
No. 4, 1900, p. 19 ; A. H. Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 248. 

[113] " Requiring," Sir C. MacDonald, ubi sup. " Invite," M. Pichon 
to M. Delcasse, ubi sup. "Ordering," Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, ubi sup. 
" Must therefore request," in the diplomatic language of the despatch, 
trans, in China, No. 4, 1900, p. 26 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 175. 

[114] Text in China, No. 4, 1900, p. 27 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 170. 

[115] Sir C. MacDonald, Mr. Conger, M. Pichon, ubi sup. 


it was necessary to leave Peking. "[11 6] Another writes — 
" At the end [of an angry discussion] a joint note was 
prepared. . . . That is to say, the ministers were prepared 

to accept "[117] Another — " It was reported that the 

ministers had decided to go ; great was the indigna- 
tion."[118] The clearest testimony comes from Mr. 
Conger, who wrote at 9 p.m. that day warning the American 
missionaries at the Methodist mission that they must get 
ready to leave — " If we had a thousand men here and any 
knowledge of where other troops were, we might then 
refuse to go, but under the circumstances there is only one 
thing to do. It is bound to take us some time to get ready 
to start, and in the meantime something may happen. "[119] 
The American missionaries pointed out to their envoy the 
8 practical difficulties of leaving Peking under the condition 
mentioned, as well as the probable consequences to those 
who did so, and also the certain massacre of the Christians 
necessarily abandoned. "[120] There was general con- 
sternation, " but beneath tlxat wave of consternation a 
fiercer note arose — the note of revolt against the decrees 
of. eleven men " [121] ; and, by the next morning, the 
envoys, if they had lost it, had recovered their balance. 

€ § 31. The next morning, June 20th, the diplomatic 
body met shortly after 8 a.m. [122] At 9 a.m., the hour 
appointed for the interview, no reply had yet been received, 
and the envoys decided that it would be useless to proceed 
to the Yamen with the probability of finding no one to 
receive them. This decision would have been unanimous 
but for the dissenting voice of Baron von Ketteler. He 
informed his colleagues that he had given notice of an 

[116] Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 249, 253. 

[117] Putnam Weale, " Indiscreet Letters," p. 60. 

[118] Roland Allen, " Siege of the Peking Legations," p. 101. 

[119] Mr. Conger to Mr. Gamewell, given textually in Tuttle, " Mary- 
Porter Gamewell," p. 208 ; referred to i. Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 249. 

[120] Smith, ubi sup. 

[121] Putnam Weale, " Indiscreet Letters," p. 60. 

[122] There was perhaps a previous meeting at 7 a.m. " The diplo- 
matic body sent at 7 a.m. a' second despatch asking that they might be 
put in communication with their admirals." — M. Pichon, ubi sup. " Next 
morning, the 20th, there was another meeting at 8 o'clock to decide what 
should be done in view of the fact that he had received no reply." — Sir C. 
MacDonald, ubi sup. " The morning of the 20th, at 8.30, the ministers 
met at the French legation re^ady to proceed in a body to the Tsungli 
Yamen as soon as notified that the prince would be there." — Mr. Conger, 
ubi 9up. 


individual visit, during which he intended to point out to 
the Chinese ministers the enormity of their offence against 
the law of nations, and the consequences which must result 
from their attack on the sanctity of ambassadors, and he 
announced that he now proposed to carry out his previous 
intention. His colleagues one and all protested, pointing 
out the danger to himself ; but he brushed aside all argu- 
ments, and started for the Yamen, accompanied only by 
his interpreter, Herr Cordcs, and a ceremonial escort of 
unarmed Chinese. A quarter of an hour later one of his 
mounted Chinese attendants came dashing back with the 
news that Baron von Ketteler had been killed ; another 
rode on to carry the tidings to the Tsungli Yamen. 

§ 32. The two sedan chairs had just passed a small 
police station on the main street on the way to the Yamen 
when Herr Cordes glanced to the left and saw a Chinese 
soldier in uniform, with his rifle at his shoulder, and with 
it following the movements of the envoy's chair and 
evidently aiming at his head. Herr Cordes shouted a 
warning, and at the same time the soldier fired, killing the 
envoy instantly. The chairs were dropped by the fright- 
ened bearers, and Herr Cordes started upright and was then 
severely wounded in the thighs, which had been brought 
to the level formerly occupied by his head. He ran away 
through side streets, followed by many shots, but not 
actively pursued, and escaped to the American party in 
the Methodist mission, where his wounds were attended 
to. [123] The murder was committed by Enhai, a Manchu 
bannerman, who reported his own act and for it claimed 
a special promotion ; at his trial he declared — " I received 
orders from my sergeant to kill every foreigner chat came 
up the street ; I am a soldier and I only know it is my duty 
to obey orders."[124] After the siege he was arrested by 
the Japanese, tried by the Germans, and executed. The. 
baron's body was carried into the Yamen and there was 
placed in a coffin by order of Yuen Chang, and buried 
hastily [125] ; it was exhumed on August 16th and de- 
cently interred the next day in the German legation. 

[123] Herr Cordes' own narrative, cited in all the authorities. 

[124] Memorial to throne from censorate, Bland and Backhouse, 
" Empress Dowager," p. 305. 

[125] " Duke Lan writes to tell ma . . . that, by the orders of that 
rascally Chinese, Yuen Chang, the corpse of the foreign devil had been 


§ 33. One curious, and quite unexplainable, incident 
was connected with the murder. On June 14th, six days 
before it occurred, a report was current in Tientsin, emanat- 
ing from Peking, that a foreign envoy had been killed [126]; 
and on the 17thSheng Hsiian-hwai, the head of the telegraph 
administration, received at Chefoo a telegram from 
London — " it is rumoured here that the German envoy 
has been murdered. "[127] The London evening papers 
of June 16th contained telegrams of the Laffan news 
agency from Tientsin saying that the " the German minister 
in Peking has been murdered." When this intelligent 
anticipation of an absolutely incredible coming event was 
turned to fact, the fact was not known to the world outside 
Peking for twelve days, so closely drawn was the net around 
the legations. 

§ 34. This murder came as a crushing blow to the few 
advocates of peace in the Chinese administration, silencing 
their voices and leaving them helpless to stem the tide of 
hostility to foreigners, and it pushed on the party of aggres- 
sion to the completion of their plans. [128] It struck with 
horror the envoys and the foreign community in Peking, 
already shut in their defences, and now expectant only 
of the worst. There was no thought of leaving Peking 
under any kind of Chinese escort, every thought was 
turned to defence, and every man and woman was resolved 
to continue the defence to the end. The Americans in 
the Methodist mission first were brought in — 20 marines, 
70 American men, women and children, 126 Chinese girls 
from the school, some hundreds of Chinese converts, and 
Herr Cordes on a litter ; they were given twenty minutes 
to pack, and took with them only what they could carry 
in their hands ; and they filed along, slowly and without 
molestation, until they joined the main body of refugees 
in the legations. The converts in the Pehtang and their 
guard remained there. During the day there were no 

coffined ; wanted Prince Twan to have the corpse decapitated and the 

head exhibited over the Tungan gate." — Chingshan, Diary, June 20th, 
p. 273. 

[126] Tel. Tientsin, June 14th, North-China Herald, June 20th, 1900. 

[127] Tungwen Hupao, Shanghai, June 17th, cited in ibid. 

[128] " Enchu says that already the Kansu braves have begun the 
attack upon the legations, and that Junglu's endeavours to have the 
foreigners escorted to a place of safety have completely failed." — Ching 
shan, Diary, June 20th, p. 271. 




June 8 to August 14 {htld throughout 
June 8-20 (abandoned June SO) 
June 21 {Beginning of Siege) 
August 14 (Cnd of Siege). 


signs of hostility, but, punctually at 4 p.m., twenty- four 
hours after the precisely dated request to leave Peking, 
exactly as if the despatch were an ultimatum demanding 
the surrender of the legations and their occupants, the 
legation enceinte and the Pehtang were swept by a storm 
of rifle shot. From this time the foreign community of 
473 civilians (245 men, 149 women and 79 children), the 
451 of the foreign guards, and some thousands of Chinese 
converts, were subjected to constant assaults by the 
Boxers and by Chinese imperial troops. 

Ill— 15 



1. Declaration of the admirals at Taku, June 20 . . . 227 

2. Correct attitude of Yangtze viceroys . 227 

3. Foreign powers agree to take common action . . .228 

4. Decision that state oi war did not exist . * . . 229 

5. State of parties in China . . . , . . . 230 

6. Agreement for neutrality of China south of Yellow River, 

July 3 .231 

7. Siege of Peking legations, June 20 ; divided counsels of 

Chinese , ' . . . . .233 

8. Divided control of defence of legations .... 234 

9. Administration in the legations during siege . . .234 

10. Peking dominated and plundered by Boxers and soldiers . 235 

11. Imperial decrees declaring war and for its conduct . . 236 

12. Decree ordering extermination of all foreigners, June 24 . 237 

13. Execution of Chinese converts at Peking, June 24 . . 238 

1 4. First truce, June 25, due to Boxer exuberance or other causes 239 

15. Massacre of missionaries at Paotingfu, July 1 . . . 240 

16. Yiihsien massacres missionaries at Taiyuenfu, July 9 . 240 

17. Fate of others in Shansi and Mongolia . . . .241 

18. Massacre at Mukden, July 3 ; slaughter of Blagovestchensk, 

July 15 242 

19. Massacre at Kiichowfu, Chekiang, July 21-23 . . . 243 

20. Operations at Tientsin ; city taken by assault, July 14 . 243 

21. Consequences of capture of Tientsin .... 245 

22. Siege of legations ; restraining influence of Junglu . . 246 

23. Junglu's protests to empress dowager . . . . 247 

24. China's appeal to the powers, July 3 . . . . 247 

25. Massacre of Peking community on July 8, reported July 14 248 

26. Crisis produces embarrassing effect on customs service . 249 

27. Mr. F. E. Taylor appointed to administer customs . .250 

28. Influence of Li Hung-chang on foreign relations . .251 

29. Semi-truce and negotiations at Peking, July 14-17 . . 252 

30. Benevolent imperial decree communicated to powers, July 17 253 

31. Efforts of Chinese envoys: first telegramfromPeking, July 17 253 

32. .^m^^ies during truce at Peking, July 18-27 . . • 254 

33. Chinese government held responsible for safety of envoys . 255 

34. Method of enforcing responsibility . . . . 2~>6 

35. Proposal to escort to Tientsin renewed at Peking, July 19 257 

36. Li Hung-chang makes same proposal to powers, Aug. 4 . 258 

37. Assaults on legations renewed, July 29 . . . . . 259 



§ 1. The admirals at Taku had no communication from 
their envoys at Peking since June 10th, from the Seymour 
force since June 14th, and from Tientsin since June 16th [1] ; 
and they necessarily assumed, each for himself, the responsi- 
bility for such steps as seemed proper to safeguard their 
national interests. This assumption of responsibility was 
at once regularised by direct instructions from the home 
governments, generally without restriction [2] ; but the 
British government indicated some questions in which it 
might be inadvisable to submit to the decision of a 
majority, [3] and " disclaimed any responsibility for the 
acts of other powers. "[4] On June 20th, a full week 
before the events occurring in Peking on that date were 
known in Tientsin, the admirals outside Taku issued a 
notification to reassure the Chinese government and 
people : " The admirals and senior naval officers of the 
allied powers in China desire, to make known to all viceroys 
and authorities of the coasts and rivers, cities and pro- 
vinces, of China that they intend to use armed force only 
against Boxers and people who oppose them on their march 
to Peking for the rescue of their fellow-countrymen. "[5] 
§ 2. The viceroys controlling the Yangtze basin, Liu 
Kun-yi at Nanking and Chang Chih-tung at Wuchang, 
were already disposed to accept this assurance, Early in 
June Liu Kun-yi issued stringent orders to arrest all 
members of the Tataohwei and to execute them promptly 
without first referring to him [6] ; and on June 20th two 
members of that society were executed at Nanking. [7] On 
June 16th the two viceroys, conjointly with Yuen bhih- 
kai, governor of Shantung,* and the governors of Anhwei 
and Kiangsi, memorialised the throne by telegram begging 
the empress dowager to take prompt steps to suppress the 

[1] Adm. Bruce to Admiralty, June 21st, 1900, China, No. 3, 1900, 
p. 67. 

[2] M. de Lanessan to Adm. Courrejolles, June 17th, 1900, Doc. Dip,, 
France, 1900, p. 44. 

[3] M. Paul Cambon to M. Delcasse, London, July 3rd, 1900, ibid., 
p. 66. 

[4] Statement to Chinese envoy, London, in Lord Salisbury to Sir 
C. MacDonald, June 22nd, 1900,. China, No. 3, 1900, p. 70. 

[5] Adm. Bruce to Admiralty, Taku, June 20th/21st, 1900, ibid., p. 
67 ; tel. Chefoo, June 20th, North-China Herald, June 22nd, 1 900. Signed 
by senior naval officers of eight nations. 

[6] Corresp. Kiangyin, June 8th, North-China Herald, June 13th, 1900. 

[7] Corresp. Nanking June 21st, ibid., June 27th, 1900. 


Ihochiian, since they were not patriots but revolutionaries ; 
the memorialists were ready to lead their combined forces 
north to. help the Peking government ; and they recom- 
mended the same course to the viceroys at Canton and at 
Foochow.[8] On the issue of the admirals' declaration of 
June 20th the Yangtze viceroys at once stated that they, 
severally, would e*ert all their powers to maintain order in 
their jurisdictions, and were carefully watching every place 
where trouble might arise ; and Chang Chih-tung issued, in 
concise classical form, a proclamation in four four- word 
metrical lines : 

"Reverently obe} T (the) imperial decree; 
Arrest reuels ; maintain (the) peace ; 
Inventors (of) rumours, disturbers (of) churches, 
Shall be executed (as an) example (of) severity." 

The declaration of the viceroys was in full accord with that 
of the admirals, and it was communicated to the foreign 
powers. [9] 

§ 3. Following on their concern for the safety of their 
envoys, the home cabinets were next concerned with their 
position in relation to China and to each other. Even 
before receiving the news of the taking of the Taku forts, 
the governments began to assure each other of their " inten- 
tion to co-operate loyally and completely with all the 
powers."[10] The American government departed from 
its customary policy of avoiding concerted action, [11] and 
readily agreed to act concurrently with the other powers 
to open the road to Peking and rescue the Americans and 
other foreigners there in peril, to protect American interests 
generally, to restrict the area of disorder, and to secure the 
future against a return of similar disasters ; but it was 

[8] Tel. Nanking, June 16th ; tel. Wuchang, June 16th ; ibid., June 20th, 
1900. The Manchu chronicler adds — " but [Liu Kun-yi] firmly declines to 
lend his forces for the purpose of massacring a few helpless foreigners," 
a warning which excited the wrath of the Old Buddha. — Chingshan, 
Diary, June 22nd, p. 275. 

[9] Corresp. Nanking, June 21st ; corresp. Wuchang, June 22nd; 
North-China Herald, June 27th, 1900. Wu Ting-fang to Mr. Hay, 
June 22nd, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 273. 

[10] Japanese assurance to French envoy, June 16th, Doc. Dip., p. 45 ; 
Lord Salisbury, statement to Japanese envoy, June 11th, Russian state- 
ment to British government, June 16th, China, No. 3, 1900, pp. 60, 61. 

[11] Cf. chap, viii, §4. 


resolved to obtain for China permanent peace and security, 
to preserve the territorial and administrative integrity of 
China, to protect treaty rights, and to maintain the open 
door. [12] The French government formulated the common 
aim as being — to rescue the endangered communities, to 
maintain the territorial status quo, to obtain guarantees 
for the future, and to take common action to these ends [13] ; 
and, whatever their ambitions had been in the past, what- 
ever they were to develop in the future, now, in view of 
the common 'danger, the powers one after the other gave 
their adhesion. [14] 

§ 4. To define the situation it was necessary to deter- 
mine one other question — whether a state of war with 
China existed or not. On this all were agreed that it did 
not exist, and the decision was made on a point raised by 
China. The seizure of the Taku forts had been asserted by 
the administration at Peking to constitute .a declaration 
of war, and it was seized on as a pretext to require the 
foreign envoys to leave Peking, and to launch the imperial 
troops everywhere against the foreign forces in the province 
of Chihli ; but the Chinese envoys at foreign courts spoke 
with a different voice. Li Hung-chang, viceroy at Canton, 
informed them on June 21st that he had been summoned 
to Peking for audience, and instructed them to explain that 
" the Taku forts had opened fire on the foreign ships of war 
without orders from the court ; if the foreign powers did 
not consider that a state of war existed owing to this incident, 
he would go north, take steps to suppress the Boxers, and 
then negotiate with the powers for a settlement. "[15] 
The offensive-defensive act of the Chinese in being the first 
to open fire was not then known, in London at least, an 
indication that the admirals did not think seriously of it ; 
but it was known that " the situation is getting worse ; all 
north China under arms ; no news from Seymour force ; 

[12] Mr. Hay, circular to envoys of powers represented in China, July 3rd, 
in M. Thiebaut to M. Delcasse, July 3rd, 1900, Doc. Dip., p. 64. 

[13] M. Delcasse to M. de Montebello, July 5th, 1900, ibid., p. 71. 

[14] See, more especially, Prince Ouroussoff (Russian ambassador) 
to M. Delcasse^ June 1 8th ; M. de Montebello to same, July 8th ; ibid. , 
pp. 44, 73. 

[15] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, Mr. Herbert and M. Paul 
Cambon, June 22nd, China, No. 3, 1900, p. 70; M. Delcasse to French 
ambassadors, June 21st, Doc. Dip., p. 49. 


Tientsin cut off, heavy fire heard there June 17th."[16] 
On this information the powers, with general unanimity, 
informed the accredited envoys of China that, if the Taku 
forts had opened fire without superior orders, and if the 
attacks on the international troops [the Seymour force] 
were without authority, there was no reason for considering 
that a state of war existed ; but some of the powers for 
" if " substituted " as it was to be assumed " [17] ; Germany 
refused to withdraw her forces and thought a serious warn- 
ing oughjt to be given to China not to deceive herself on 
the gravity of the situation [18] ; and Japan thought the 
Chinese government ought to be required to suppress the 
insurrection. [19] The Western powers generally approved of 
Li Hung-chang's mission, but not so the Japanese govern- 
ment, which considered it futile ; nor did the governor 
of Hongkong, who thought the viceroy was needed at 
Canton ; and he decided not to go. [20] 

§ 5. The position of the Yangtze viceroys was not at 
any time doubtful. In 1898 Chang Chih-tung, after coquet- 
ting with reform, had rallied to the reactionary policy of 
the empress dowager ; but Liu Kun-yi, while coldly 
neutral to reform, had maintained a sturdy resistance to 
reaction. [21 ] . Now the empire was rent by dissension. The 
Manchus, almost to a man, led by Prince Twan and Kangyi, 
aimed at maintaining their exceptional privileges ; de- 
throning the emperor and substituting for him the 
recently selected heir apparent, Prince Twan's son 
Puchiin ; expelling the foreigner as a first step to eliminat- 
ing foreign influences ; and suppressing all efforts for 
reform. The Boxers, encouraged at first by Yiihsien and 

[16] Adm. P'uce to Admiralty, June 17th, Port Arthur June 17th, 
received London June 25th ; same to same, June 18th, Ohefoo June 20th, 
received June 20th ; China, No. 3, 1900, pp. 65, 74. Adm. Courrejolles to 
M. de Lanessan, June 23rd, Doc. Dip., p. 53. 

[17] Lord Salisbury to M. Delcasse, ubi sup. ; Sir C. Scott to Lord 
Salisbury, St. Petersburg, June 24th, China, No. 3, 1900, p. 73 ; M. de 
Reverseaux to M. Delcasse, Vienna, June 22nd, M. Barrere to same, Rome, 
June 22nd, M. Jules Cambon to same, Washington, June 23rd, Doc. Dip., 
pp. 60, 52. 

[18] M. de Noailles to M. Delcasse, Berlin, June 22nd, ibid., p. 51. 
The murder of the German envoy was not then known. 

[19] M. Harmand to same, Tokyo, June 24th, ibid., p. 53. 

[20] Consul Scott to Lord Salisbury, Canton, June 24th, China, No. 3, 
1900, p. 73. Consul de szaure to M. Delcass6, Shanghai, June 24th, Doc. 
Dip., p. 54. 

[21] Cf. chap, vi, §§21, 27. 


finding later support in high quarters, aimed at crushing 
the foreign religion ; this aim was in time diverted to an 
attack on all foreigners ; and it was their creed to support 
the dynasty ; their movement was limited to Shantung 
and Chihli, with one savage outburst in Shansi ; but in 
Shantung they were now kept in check by Yuen Shih-kai. 
The Tataohwei and other secret societies, found in the 
provinces south of the Yellow River, had one aim — 
the subversion of the Manchu dynasty ; to attain this end 
they were ready to resist the local administration, or to 
attack foreigners if thereby they might embarrass the 
officials. The mass of the Chinese south of the Yellow 
River had approved Kang Yu-wei's mission and regretted 
his failure ; they were not ill disposed to the dynasty, but, 
especially in Kwangtung, they resented the burking of 
reform ; and they had everywhere resented the attempt 
to depose the emperor. The officials in the provinces, 
four-fifths of them being Chinese, were loyal to the throne ; 
but they had come to suspect the designs of the empress 
dowager and to fear their consequences ; and, in this crisis, 
they insisted on their loyalty to the person of the emperor. 
The intentions of the empress dowager were obscure. On 
the most favorable construction it may be assumed that 
she saw clearly that, if she would not be submerged by 
the Boxer wave, she must ride it — that, if it was not to 
destroy the throne, it must be turned against the foreigner ; 
but practically all the chroniclers note many indications 
to show that she encouraged the movement from a very 
early date. [22] The viceroys adopted the policy of loyalty 
to both emperor and empress dowager. 

§ 6. In this swelter of divergent aims the position of 
the foreign powers was to some extent what it was in 1858, 
when the British navy suppressed piracy along the coast 
while England was still at war with China, and in 1860, 
when the allied English and French protected the city of 
Shanghai from the rebels at a time when their forces were 
taking the Taku forts and were marching on Peking. [23] 

[22] Smith, " Convulsion," i, pp. 187, 228, 242 ; ii, pp. 502, 567, 596. 
Bland and Backhouse, " Empress Dowager," p. 257. M. J F. McCarthy, 
•' The Coming Power," p. 78. H. C. Thomson, " China and the Powers," 
p. 6. Savage-Laudor, " China and the Allies," i^ pr 61. Putnam Weale, 
" Indiscreet Letters," p. 11. North-China Herald, June, 6th, 13th, 1900. 

[23] Cf. " Conflict," chap, xv, § 5 ; chap, xxvi, §§ 2, 4. 


In such a situation the viceroys now carried further their 
declaration of June 22nd, and on July 3rd they telegraphed 
to the Chinese envoys abroad pointing out the possibility 
that the agitation in the north might spread to the south, 
and they proposed that, " regardless of what may happen 
in the north, the foreign powers agree not to despatch 
forces to the Yangtze valley or the interior of Kiangsu and 
Chekiang provinces, and that the viceroys agree to guarantee 
protection in accordance with the treaties to the lives and 
property of people of all nationalities within their respective 
jurisdictions. "[24] This proposal followed certain negotia- 
tions with the foreign consuls at Shanghai, who considered 
and modified some very elaborate articles of agreement, 
and who ultimately consented to recommend this modus 
vivendi.[25] It was satisfactory to the powers and was 
accepted by them ; and it was at once notified to the 
Chinese people by proclamations issued by the two vice- 
roys. [26] The policy was accepted in principle by Li Hung- 
chang at Canton, who '* agreed no longer to recognise the 
Peking government " [27] ; and in Shantung Yuen Shih- 
kai, in answer to a direct appeal, telegraphed — " My 
views are the same as those of the viceroys. "[28] It 
was later seen that in Shensi Twanfang took his stand 
against the insensate felly of the Peking administration, 
and the Boxer outbreak found active support only in 
Chihli, Shansi and Manchuria. So, from a combination 
of motives — hostility to the plans of Prince Twan and his 
followers, espousal of the cause of the people against the 
Manchus, desire to safeguard the emperor and to save the 
empress dowager from the consequences of her course — 
all the high officials in the southern and central provinces 
had allied themselves with the foreign powers, on the basis 
of the declaration that this was an insurrection and not 

[24] Wu Ting- fang to Mr. Hay, July 3rd, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 276 ; 
Lo Feng-lu to Lord Salisbury, July 4th, China, No. 3, 1900, p. 95. 

[25] Yiiking to M. Delcasse, June 29th, M. de Bezaure to M. Delcasse, 
July 5th, Doc. Dip., pp. 58, 70. Consul Warren to Lord Salisbury, 
June 27th, July 4th, China, No. 3, 1900, pp. 79, 97. Consul Goodnow 
to Mr. Hay, June 26th, 29th, July 8th, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, pp. 248, 249, 

[26] Text of proclamation, North-China Herald, July lith, 1900. 

[27] Consul Warren to Lord Salisbury, Shanghai, June 29th, China, 
No. 3, 1900, p. 85. 

[28] Same to same, July 1st, ibid., p. 87. 


a foreign war, and that the powers sought no acquisition 
of territory. 

§ 7. This work is a history of China's international 
relations, and the brilliant story of the siege of the P-king 
legations and of beleaguered Tientsin can be given only in 
outline ; for the full story of the peril and privation, the 
heroism and enduring courage, of those sieges the reader 
must consult other works dealing especially with the 
subject. [29] Fire was opened on the legations at 4 p.m. 
on June 20th, the rifles of Chinese troops being then for 
the first time [30] added to the match-locks, spears and 
swords of the Boxer volunteers, and from that time the 
foreign community was subjected to a fusillade which 
was generally constant and furious, but which was at times 
interrupted by periods of quiet and of a sort of truce ; 
these truces were quite unexplainabie to those within the 
enceinte, shut off as they were from all news, and can only 
be explained by events occurring outside Peking, known 
at once to all the Chinese and Manchu leaders, encouraging 
the one party which saw clearly the consequences of this 
outrageous attack, and temporarily daunting those others 
who had ventured all upon the cast of the die. There 
were three marked truces, June 25th, July 18th to 28th, 
and August 3rd to 4th. ' We were under fire from the 
20th to the 25th June, from the 28th June to the 18th July, 
from the 28th July to the 2nd August, and from the 
4th to the 14th August." During this time, 

" that somebody intervened for our semi-protection seems probable : 
attacks were not made by such numbers as the government had at 
its disposal — they were never pushed home, but always ceased just 
when we feared they must succeed — and, had the force round us 
really attacked with thoroughness and determination, we could 
not have held out a week, perhaps not even a day. So the explana- 
tion gained credence that there was some kind of protection — that 

[29] Such as : for Peking, A. H. Smith, " China in Convulsion," B. L. 
Putnam Woale, " Indiscreet Letters from Peking," Roland Allen, " The. 
Siege, of the Peking Legations," W. A. P. Martin, " The Siege in Peking," 
N. Oliphant, " A Diary of the Siege of the Legations," G. E. Morrison, 
letters in London Times, Oct. 13th, 15th, 16th, 1900, W. Heinze, " Die 
Belagerung der Pekinger Gesandtschaften," E. d'Arcy, " La Defense de 
la Legation de France a Pekin " ; for Tientsin, G. Gipps, " The Fighting 
in North China." \V. McLeish, " Tientsin Besieged." 

J 30] R. Hart, " These from the Land of Sinim," p. 32. 


somebody, probably a wise man who knew what the destruction of 
the legations would cost empire and dynasty, intervened between 
the issue of the order and the execution of it."[31] 

§ 8. The legations were defended by fearless men, 
but from the first hour international jealousy worked 
mischief. The citadel of refuge for all foreign civilians was 
the British legation, and this was guarded by the 79 British 
marines, besides being the headquarters of the greater part 
of the civilian volunteers, 75 in number (including 31 
Japanese) — men who could shoot straight. Each of the 
other detachments guarded especially its own legation, 
except that, the Japanese legation being entirely covered 
b}' others, to the Japanese force was assigned the task 
of protecting, supported by the volunteers, the Chinese 
converts herded in the Suwang Fu. Each detachment was 
commanded by its own officers and its own envoy, and there 
was no unity of command except a nominal superiority 
accorded to the senior officer present. This was the 
Austrian naval captain Thomann, of a service and of a 
nation little experienced in Asiatic warfare on land. His 
first act, at the outset of the attack, was to abandon the 
Austrian legation in haste, an act condemned by most, 
declared unexplainable by others [32] ; the result was to 
expose the flank of the French legation and to thrust the 
weak defences of the Suwang Fu into the front line. Con- 
sequent on this, the British envoy, Sir C. MacDonald, an 
old soldier, was nominated to be commander of the defence, 
and he appointed as his chief of staff Mr. Herbert Squiers, 
secretary of the American legation, also a soldier ; but the 
control which they were allowed to exercise was little more 
than nominal'[33] and to the end each legation was defended 
in the main by its own legation guards. 

§ 9. With the instinct of self-government which 
characterises Americans, committees had been formed 
when the missionaries first took refuge on June 9th in the 
Methodist mission. When, on June 20th, the whole com- 
munity was gathered in the British legation, these com- 

[31] R. Hart, "These from the Land of Sinim," p. 39. 

[32] Ibid., p. 19 ; Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 278, ii, p. 395 ; Putnam 
Weale, " Indiscreet Letters," p. 71 ; R. Allen, " Siege of Legations," 
p. 112 ; M. Hooker, " Behind the Scenes in Peking," p. 63. 

[33] Cf. inter al., M. Hooker, op. cit., p. 121. 


mittees were enlarged and made to assume wider functions. 
A missionary, Mr. E. G. Tewksbury, was at the head of the 
committee of General Comfort, his work on which was 
specially commended by Sir C. MacDonald and by Mr. 
Conger. [34] Another missionary, Mr. F. D. Game well, 
was in charge of the work of fortification, for which '* his 
services were invaluable, and it is no exaggeration to 
estimate them as literally indispensable to the success of 
the siege defence " [35] ; of him it was said during the 
siege that he was ;< a representation of limited omni- 
presence."^] Until he was wounded, the Times'' corre- 
spondent, Dr. G. E. Morrison, was efficiently active in many 
capacities. Mr. Squiers was marked by all as the embodi- 
ment of cheeriness and ready resource. The civilian 
volunteers did themselves credit, and to their ranks the 
church militant supplied the "six fighting parsons. "[37] 
Among the military the Japanese colonel Shiba was, by 
general consent, the most distinguished. On June 29th 
he reported that he could hold, the Suwang Fu for only 
two or three days longer ; but it was held until he was 
wounded, and after that to the end of the siege. He was 
reckless in courage, unceasing in his vigilance, and fertile 
in plans ; and he was highly esteemed by men of Western 
nations, by whom, hitherto, the Asiatic had been regarded 
as of an inferior mould. 

§ 10. When the Chinese soldiers were let slip on 
June 20th, they cast off all restraint. They were un- 
ceasing in their watch and their fire on the legations ; 
but they were as active in seizing on the defenceless city 
and plundering it. The Boxers had burned and plundered 
for a week, and now the soldiers joined in the task and 
spread alarm in all directions. The servants, even of 
Manchu nobles, fled in terror [38] ; the wealthy were 
called on to feed troops and Boxers, with " rice as dear 
as pearls " [39] ; and plundering was so rife that those 
in high position were concerned for their hoarded trea- 

[34] Smith, " Convulsion," ii, pp. 475, 495. 

[35] Ibid., i, p. 274. For his work, ibid., ii, pp. 468, 475. 

[36] Hart, " Sinim," p. 41. 

[37] Their photograph in Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 474. 

[38] Bland and Backhouse, Diarv of Chingshan, June 21st, 22nd, 
p. 273-4. 

[39] Ibid., June 22nd, p. 275. 


sure. [40] The Boxers were masters of the situation — 
their plans were now the plans of the government, their 
will the will of the empire, and their levies were the un- 
invited guests of all who had the means of supporting 
them. As the empress dowager crossed the road from 
one palace to another on June 21st she was greeted by a 
guard of honour of Boxers ; she presented them with 
2000 taels, " congratulating their commander, Prince 
Chwang, on their stalwart appearance. "[41] Chingshan 
had a hundred Boxers quartered on him [42] ; on June 25th 
a body of sixty, led by Prince Twan and Prince Chwang, 
and the " beilehs " Tsailien and Tsaiying, invaded the 
palace itself. [43] The troops were no less exacting and 
insolent, and it may be asserted that those members of 
the administration who did not command troops, like Tung 
Fu-siang, or Boxers, like Prince Twan, exercised in general 
but little more real control over the course of events than 
did the Mogul king and princes at Delhi in 1857. 

§ 11. The decision once taken by the Chinese adminis- 
tration, the orders issued were decided and ferocious. On 
June 20th an imperial decree directed the viceroys and 
governors to protect their provinces " against the aggres- 
sive designs of foreign powers," and to send troops to 
Peking."[44] The next day appeared China's declaration 
of war. After reciting the many acts of aggression by 
foreign powers and China's constant efforts at conciliation 
during the past sixty years, it declared that the seizure of 
the Taku forts showed that their spirit of aggression was 
unabated ; China had never been wanting in consideration 
for them, " but they, while styling themselves civilised 
states, have acted without regard for right, relying solely 
on armed force." Now " our ancestors have come to our 
aid, the gods have answered our call, and never has there 

[40] " I find Prince Li much depressed in his mind ; his treasure vaults 
contain vast wealth." — Ibid., June 22nd, p. 275. 

[41] Ibid., June 21st, p. 273. Tsaihsiin, Prince Chwang, was com- 
mandant of the Peking gendarmerie, a very important post ; he was own 
brother to the emperor Kwanghsti, the latter having been adopted into 
another family as son of Hienfeng. 

[42] Ibid., June 22nd, pp. 275, 276, 281. 

[43] Ibid., June 25th, p. 282. For the depredations of the soldiers, 
see also Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 270. 

[44] Cited by Yiihsien in despatch of July 15th, Smith, " Convulsion," 
ii, p. 380. 


been so universal a manifestation of loyalty and patriotism. 
With tears we have proclaimed the war before our ancestral 
shrines : " better to do and die, than to live in humiliation. 
A decree of June 24th completed the organisation of the 
Boxers, appointing Prince Chwang and the Grand Secre- 
tary Kangyi to be in general command conjointly ; another 
directed the issue of rice for the Boxers ; another ordered 
that the troops be restrained from plundering. A decree 
of June 25th directed the issue of Tls. 100,000 as a money 
reward to each of five army corps, including the Boxers 
as one of the corps ; and in others of the 27th further money 
rewards were issued to troops, including those at Tientsin. 
Decrees of July 1st refer to the disorganisation of the tele- 
graph and postal service, and to " wanton murder and 
robbery committed by persons feigning to belong to the 
Boxers." On July 2nd was issued an important decree 
referring to " feuds between the people and the converts " ; 
the latter were ' ' also the children of the state, including 
many good and worthy people," but they had been "led 
astray by false doctrines and perverted by the mission- 
aries." The converts were to be led gently back to the 
path of rectitude, but, " as hostilities have now broken 
out between China and foreign countries, the missionaries 
of all nationalities must all be driven away at once to their 
own countries, so that they may not linger here and make 
trouble ; but it is important that measures be taken 
ta give them protection on their journey."[45] 

§ 12. This decree, so gentle in its tone, had been pre- 
ceded a week earlier by another, giving orders of savage 
ferocity. No copy has 'been preserved, but it appears to 
have been issued on June 24th. [46] Though no copy is 
available, yet its authenticity is well established. Warning 
of its orders was " brought to missionaries and others by 
friends in the yamens, by friendly telegraph operators, 
and by officials — some of them of high rank — in at least 
three provinces and in numerous places hundreds of miles 
apart, almost simultaneously. Twice at least the original 
despatch was seen by foreigners, and its phraseology is 
indelibly engraved on the memories of those who were 

[45] Decrees trans, from Peking Gazette, U.S. For. Rel., 1000, pp. 
168 seq. 

[46] " Ten days ago," Chingshan, Diary, July 4th, p. 237. 


stunned by tlxe appalling and unexampled words — feng 
yang-jen pi sha, yang-jen tfui-hwei chi s/m."[47] An 
indelible impression has been made on the mind of the 
world by the. order — "Whenever you meet a foreigner, 
you must slay him ; if the foreigner attempts to escape 
[withdraw], slay him at once " [48] ; but the world will 
also not forget that some one in Peking had the courage 
to alter ska, " slay," to pao, " protect. "[49] The altera- 
tion was reputed to have been made by the two Chinese 
ministers Yuen Chang and Hsu Ching-cheng,[50] who both, 
in no long time, suffered decapitation in consequence of their 
bold act. The order for extermination therefore failed 
in its purpose in those parts to which it was sent by telegraph, 
the far-seeing officials there standing upon the imperial 
decree as received, and refusing to pay any heed to un- 
substantiated reports of a different intention ; but to 
the parts within the disturbed area the written text was 
sent by courier, and there it was obeyed ferociously and 
without hesitation. 

§ 13. In Peking no time was lost.- On June 22nd a 
proclamation was issued offering rewards for foreigners 
taken alive — 50 taels for a man, 40 taels for a woman, 30 
taels for a child [51] ; but now, on June 24th, the slaughter 
began. The missionaries and other foreigners — the 
** primary devils " — were sheltered by the legation barri- 
cades and their guards ; but the Chinese converts — the 

[47} Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 594. 

[48] " Ten days ago she sent him [Yuhsien] a secret decree saying — 
' Slay all foreigners wheresoever you find them ; even though they be 
prepared to leave your province, yet must they be slain.' " — Chingshan, 
Diary, July 4th, p. 287. 

[49] " It is feared that some treacherous minister is responsible for 
this, but no one dares inform her Majesty." — Ibid., loc. cit. 

[50] " Yesterday Li Ping-heng and Kangyi discovered that the word 
* slay ' in her Majesty's decree ordering the extermination of all foreigners 
had been altered to ' protect ' by Yuen Chang and Hsu Ching-cheng. I 
have just seen Kangyi and he says that her Majesty's face is divine in its 
wrath. . . . Both were executed this morning ; my son Enming witnessed 
their death."— Ibid., July 28th, p. 293. 

[51] " Prince Chwang was at the head of the gendarmerie when this 
proclamation was issued. The proclamation was duly stamped with the 
official seal of the gendarmerie." — Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Sept. 4th, 1900, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 193. This proclamation was dated June 28th, but — 

" The Old. Buddha has directed Prince Chwang, as head of the city 
gendarmerie, to issue a proclamation offering Tls. 50 for every head of a 
male barbarian brought in, Tls. 40 for that of a woman, and Tls. 30 for 
that of a child." — Chingshan, Diary, June 22nd, p. 276. 


" secondary devils " — were no less an object of detestation, 
and they had to suffer. On that day " many hundreds of 
Chinese Christians were put to death just outside Prince 
Chwang's palace," after a trial by four judges, presided over 
by Prince Chwang ; " there was no mercy shown, and a large 
number of innocent people perished with the guilty. "[52] 
A week later another batch of " over nine hundred people 
were summarily executed by the Boxers," after a trial 
conducted "outside the gate of Prince Chwang's palace."[53] 
§ 14. The zeal of the Boxers in searching for Christians 
led them into temporary disfavour, and was an element 
in bringing about the first of the unexplainable truces. 
On June 25th a body of sixty Boxers, led by Prince Twan 
and Prince Chwang, burst into the palace precincts ; 
clamouring noisily for the emperor, " the foreigner's friend," 
they were suddenly confronted by the empress dowager, 
who rated Prince Twan and " would have him know that 
she, and she alone, had power to create or depose the 
sovereign, and she would have him remember -that the 
power which had made his son heir apparent could also 
unmake him." Her anger grew and she ordered that a 
stop be put to all fighting in Peking, and that Junglu might 
go to the legations to discuss terms of peace. [54] A white 
flag was sent to the bridge north of the British legation, 
and a notice was put up stating that " in accordance with 
imperial commands to protect the foreign envoys, firing 
must cease ; a despatch will be delivered at the bridge." 
The bearer of a flag in return was confronted by the 
levelled rifles of Chinese soldiers, and he retired. No 
communication was received, but there was comparative 
quiet for a short time, and then the attack was renewed more 
furiously than before. [55] This abortive attempt at com- 
munication was notified to the outside world — f an imperial 
decree of June 25th orders that the foreign envoys in 
Peking be protected at all costs. "[56] This explanation 
of the order for protection is given by the Manchu chronicler, 
but it is worthy of note that, in the days in which the 

[52] Chingshan, Diary, June 24th, p. 282. 
[53] Ibid., June 30th, p. 286. 
[54] Ibid., June 25th, p. 282. 

[55] Smith, " Convulsion/' i, p. 292 ; Hart, " Sinim," p. 33 ; Putnam 
Weale, " Indiscreet Letters," p. 107. 

[56] North-China Herald, J 4th, 1900. 


order was given at Peking, the following events were occur- 
ring at Tientsin : the relieving force from Taku effected a 
junction with the garrison of the Tientsin settlements on 
June 23rd ; and the Seymour force, occupying the Hsiku 
arsenal, repelled a determined attack by a large Chinese 
force on June 23rd, was relieved on the 25th, and was 
withdrawn to Tientsin on the 26th, after destroying the 
arsenal and its contents. [57] It has further been sug- 
gested that " the respite given was probably to throw us 
off our guard and arrange other plans for our hurt — 
perhaps also to put some friendliness on record. "[58] 

§ 15. The first place to which the orders to exterminate 
the foreigner could arrive was Paotingfu. From this 
place the railway engineers had made their escape at the 
end of May [59] ; but there still remained a large number 
of missionaries, for whose safety much anxiety had been 
felt, but to whom the Chinese government had promised 
full protection. [60] A guard was in fact sent, but it was 
subsequently withdrawn. About June 24th some of the 
Chinese servants fled, but the greater number remained and 
shared the fate of the missionaries. On June 28th the 
Chinese pastor Meng was arrested, tortured and tried ; on 
the 29th he was beheaded. On June 30th one mission was 
attacked by a Boxer mob aided by disorderly soldiers in 
uniform, and the other missions on July 1st ; the mis- 
sionaries with their families were either killed in the attack 
or burned in their houses, or, the greater number, they were 
beheaded — except one little girl, who was thrust through 
by a sword. So perished 11 Americans and 4 English — 
6 men, 5 women and 4 children. [61] 

§ 16. The orders came next to Taiyuenfu in Shansi. 
On June 27th a mob attacked and destroyed a mission 
hospital ; the occupants then escaped, except one woman 
(English) who, wounded, was pushed back to her death 
in the burning buildings. During the next few days the 

[57] Cf. chap, viii, §§ 22, 24. 

[58] Hart, " Sinim," p. 33. Cf. postea, § 32. 

[59] Cf. chap, viii, § 7. 

[60] Cf. chap, viii, § 19. 

[61] Forsyth, " The China Martyrs of 1900," p. 19. 

" They [those who were beheaded] fled to the imperial camp. . . . The 
colonel in charge plundered them, and then handed them over to the 
provincial judge [niehtai], who in turn delivered them to the Boxers." — 
Ibid., p. 25. 

Bartholomew. Ed.n 


missionaries made constant appeals to the authorities for 
protection, and, on July 3rd, three officials " came from 
the governor " and urged all, Protestant and Roman 
Catholic, to concentrate in a Chinese house to be assigned 
to them ; this they did on July 6th accompanied by many 
of their servants. Other missionaries at Showyang, eighty 
miles to the east, after a fruitless attempt to escape east- 
wards to the coast, were brought to Taiyuenfu and lodged 
in prison on July 8th. On July 9th all were taken to 
the governor's yamen ; and there, outside the principal 
entrance, men, women and children, they were stripped 
to the waist like common criminals and made to wait. 
Finally the governor, Yuhsien, came out and inspected 
them, and then ordered their immediate decapitation. The 
order was executed on men, women and children, there and 
then, in the presence of the governor ; first on the Pro- 
testants of Taiyuen f u, then on the Roman Catholics, then 
on the Protestants from Showyang. " The Roman 
Catholic bishop, an old man with a large white beard, 
asked the governor why he did this wicked deed ; for 
answer, the governor drew his sword across the face of the 
bishop, causing the blood to flow down his beard, and he 
was then speedily massacred ; the priests and nuns quickly 
followed him in death." So perished, under the eyes 
of Yuhsien the governor and by his orders, 34 English and 
Scottish Protestants and 12 Roman Catholics — 15 men, 
20 women, and 11 children ; in addition the heads of 6 
American missionaries killed at Taikuhien were, according 
to his own report to the empress dowager, sent to this 
governor, Yuhsien, now "infamous for ever."[62] 

§ 17. Of the other missionaries in Shansi, those who 
fled to the west and crossed the border into Shensi ulti- 
mately were conducted without massacre to Hankow ; they 
suffered many privations, from the effects of which at least 
seven died, and many of them were for many days in 
extreme peril ; but once in Shensi they were under the 
protection of the governor Twanfang, who had received the 

[62] Forsyth, " The China Martyrs of 1900," pp. 30 seq. 

" Yuhsien has memorialised the throne, reporting that he cunningly 
entrapped all the foreigners, cast them into chains, and had every one 
decapitated in his yamen. Only one woman had escaped, after her breasts 
had been cut off, and had hidden herself under the city wall ; she was dead 
when they found her." — Chingshan, Diary, July 16th, p. 292. 

Ill— 16 


order to " protect " them, and who persisted in carrying 
it out. His soldiers obeyed his orders grudgingly, but they 
obeyed, and conducted the various parties of refugees into 
Hupeh ; there they were handed over to the soldiers of the 
viceroy Chang Chih-tung, whose orders were also obeyed, 
though grudgingly. [63] Others who were driven to flight 
towards the north, into Mongolia, fared otherwise and 
shared the fate which befell the missionaries stationed 
there. Others still were killed at their stations in Shansi — 
10 at Sopingfu, 6 at Tatungfu, 6 at Taikuhien, and many 
others at many other places. In all, including the victims 
at Taiyuenfu, 178 were known ,to have been killed in 
Shansi and over the Mongolian border, of Protestants 
113 adults and 46 children, of Roman Catholics 12 men 
and 7 women, but the latter pair of figures is probably not 
complete. [64] Besides these, in Mongolia was killed with 
torture Captain Watts- Jones, R.E., one of a party of three 
engineers, who had been on a trip prospecting for railway 
routes. They started from Canton, went through Hunan 
and Kwtjchow to Szechwan, and were making their way 
thence to Tientsin ; floating down the Yellow River their 
raft was wrecked on June 24th. Of the three Mr. John 
Birch was drowned then ; Mr. Harry C. Matheson made 
his way amid many perils to Tientsin, served as a volunteer 
through the latter part of the siege, and was subsequently 
drowned, helping to save children, in the wreck of the City 
of Rio de Janeiro at the entrance to San Francisco Bay in 
the spring of 1901 ; Captain Watts- Jones reached Ning- 
hiafu in Kansu safely, but was later subjected to a lingering 
death of torture. [65] 

§ 18. The orders were obeyed also in southern Man- 
churia. The Protestant missionaries profited by the 
warnings received and took refuge, those in the south at 
Newchwang, those in the north with Russian troops in their 
vicinity, their missions being destroyed on June 30th ; 
and on July 3rd at Mukden the Roman Catholic bishop, 
4 priests, 2 sisters, and elsewhere 5 priests, together with 
all the Chinese converts who could be got hold of, were 

[63] Forsyth, " China Martyrs," passim ; Smith, " Convulsion," 
chap, xxxiii. 

[64] Smith, op. cit., ii, p. 048. 

[65] North-China Herald, July 25th, 1900, and private notes. 


killed. [66] On July 14th Russian steamers on the River 
Amur were fired upon at Aigun ; and on the 15th the 
Russian town of Blagovestchensk on the north bank was 
bombarded from a Chinese battery across the river. The 
Russians made a terrible example, involving the slaughter 
of many thousand Chinese, men, women, and children, 
whose bodies floated down the Amur ; but the act was dis- 
avowed by the supreme government as being " the un- 
authorised act of the military at too great a distance 
from the central government to be in touch with its 

§ IS. The edict of extermination seems to have reached 
the governor of Chekiang, probably in a written document, 
unaltered to the more merciful form. After some hesita- 
tion, he was induced by the provincial Judge, a Manchu, 
to transmit the order to the magistrates of his province ; 
but, probably on the injunction of the Nanking viceroy, 
Liu Kun-yi, he soon afterwards countermanded it. The 
mischief was, however, done. In Chekiang there were no 
Boxers, but there was unrest, and there were converts' 
feuds [68] ; and, on July 21st, at Kuchowfu, armed bands 
of marauders were joined by disorderly soldiers, and they 
together seized the Hien, who was known to wish to protect 
the missionaries, and took him with his family and servants 
before his superior, the Fu ; there they were murdered, 
of the whole household of thirty- three persons, only the 
Hien's wife and his grandmother being given their lives. 
Then the mob turned on the missionaries ; some were 
refused a shelter in the Taotai's yamen, some found a 
temporary refuge in the temple of the city god ; but sooner 
or later, on the three days July 21st-23rd, all those resident 
at Kuchowfu and others who fled thither from Changshan 
were killed — 11 in all, 2 men, 6 -women, -3 children, all 
English. [69] Including a few other Catholic priests killed 
in other provinces, the total number known to have been 
killed between June 24th and July 24th was 231, of whom 
178 were adults and 53 children. 

§ 20. The force that relieved Tientsin numbered 
about 8000 — Russians, Americans, British, Germans, and 

[66] Ibid., July 11th, 1900 ; Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 600. 

[67] Smith, u Convulsion," ii, p. 607. 

[68] Cf. chap, vii, § 6. 

[69] Forsyth, op. cit./p. 90 ; Smith, op. cit., ii, p. 605. 


Japanese ; with the original guards and the remnant of the 
Seymour force, the garrison now numbered about 12,000. 
Between them and the Chinese there was from this time a 
constant succession of attack and counter-attack, in which 
the Chinese were aided by their great superiority in heavy 
guns ; but in major operations the offensive was neces- 
sarily assumed by the allied foreign forces. The Eastern 
Arsenal, five miles from the foreign concessions, was the 
chief source of the Chinese supply of munitions in northern 
China ; it was protected by a moat and battlemented 
walls, and was covered on the south by fortified camps, 
in which the Chinese follow the Roman practice. This 
arsenal was taken on June 27th by the Russians, supported 
by a mixed force, of 800 of the other allies. Then came 
days of minor attacks on both sides, the Chinese being 
greatly reinforced, and increasing the number of their guns 
of position, and the allied garrison also receiving some 
reinforcements of men, but being deficient in guns. On 
July 9th the Japanese, 1000 in number, supported by 
1000 of a mixed force, cleared the country to the south 
and captured the Western Arsenal in the Haikwangsze, 
the scene of the signature of the treaties of 1858. On 
July 13th came the last scene ; the Russians and Germans, 
about 5000 men, circling to the east and north-east against 
the Lutai Canal positions ; the Japanese, Americans, 
British and French, also about 5000 men, making a frontal 
attack on the city of Tientsin. The first body made quick 
progress and was able to get within cannon-fire of the 
Black Fort, adjoining the site of the French cathedral. 
The second body made a dogged fight all day in a plain 
cut up by pools and ditches, and it lost one-seventh of its 
strength ;• the 9th U.S. Infantry,. 445 in action, lost 17 
killed (including its commander, Colonel Liscum) and 71 
wounded, and the Japanese had about 500 casualties ; 
the force clung to its position through the day and the 
following night, and at daybreak the Japanese blew in 
the outer south gate, scaled the wall, forced the inner gate, 
and Tientsin city was taken, July 14th, its Chinese de- 
fenders retreat jng without further resistance. [70] 

[70] Gipps, McLeish, passim ; Decennial Reports, 1892-1901, Tientsin, 
ii, p. 519 ; Savage- Landor, " China and the Allies," i, p. 161-188 ; H. C. 
Thomson, " China and the Powers," pp. 43-82 ; Daggett, " America ia 
the China Relief Expedition," pp. 27 seq. 


§ 21. " The fall of Tientsin not only opened the road 
to Peking, but it relieved both Chefoo and Shanghai from 
a danger which was every day becoming greater."[71] It 
confirmed in their safe position of neutrality those officials 
who refused to attack the foreign powers, but who yet, 
being Chinese officials, must follow the cult of the jumping 
cat [72] ; and it warned the common herd everywhere that 
even the consecrated Boxer was not invincible. Con- 
currently with the news, everywhere reported and every- 
where believed, that the entire foreign community at Peking 
had been massacred, [73] it was also known and must be 
accepted as the truth, that Tientsin had been conquered 
and had been punished. For Tientsin was punished. 
During several days the city and its rich suburbs had been 
at the mercy of the Boxers, who had slaughtered and 
burned, and had plundered freely ; for many other days 
they had been joined by the imperial troops, who, at the 
close of the nineteenth century, were the most accom- 
plished plunderers in the world ; and the mob of Tientsin 
were no degenerate imitators. Between them all, while it is 
impossible to estimate the loss of life, the destruction of 
property in one suburb alone was cautiously estimated at 
44 tens of millions of taels."[74] Before withdrawing, the 
Chinese troops set fire to the city in many places, and 
further destruction ensued. As soon as possible the 
foreigners set up the Tientsin Provisional Government [75] ; 
but before order could be restored in a proper degree, the 
foreign troops took their turn at looting. Ingots of silver 
were their principal object and were found by the ton — - 
and appropriated ; but the American soldier seemed to 

[711 Decennial Reports, ii, p. 521. Also decision of consular body, 
Shanghai, as reported in cousul Warren to Lord Salisbury, July 5th 
(China, No. 3, 1900. p. 101) and consul de Bezaure to M. Delcasse, July 5th 
(Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 70). 

[72] At a time when the latest news from Peking which Yuen Shih-kai 
was able to report was that " the envoys were safe on July 11th," he was 
reported to be wavering in his fidelity to the policy of the viceroys. — 
Tel. Chefoo, July 19th, North-China Herald, July 25th, 1900. 

Two days later Yuen Shih-kai was reported to have said on July 20th 
oxiat, by his latest advices, the envoys were still safe, and " the proper 
Chinese authorities are devising means for their rescue and protection." — 
Tel. Chefoo, July 21st, ibid. 

[73] Cf. postea, § 25. 

[74] Smith, '* Convulsion," ii, p. 578, 

[75] Cf. postea, chap, xi, § 2. 


find bis chief pleasure in smashing delicate porcelain. [76] 
" Some of the Russian, the French, the Indian, and the 
German troops distinguished themselves as highway 
robbers. . . . Military raids were made in all directions, 
and ... it is certain that the three shortest of the Ten 
Commandments were constantly violated on an extensive 
scale. "[77] China had broken the law of nations and 
defied the world, and the Western world recognised none 
of its own laws in its treatment of the law-breaker. 

§ 22. After the short truce of June 25th the firing on 
the legations at Peking was constant, and at times it 
developed into a furious sound of rifle-shot, in which .now 
the shell of field pieces was heard. During the two months' 
siege it was calculated that 2900 shell fell within the lega- 
tion area, but it was one of the miracles protecting the 
besieged that the shell fire was not more abundant or more 
accurate. Credit for this is given to Junglu. He made 
what efforts he could to restrain the madmen now at the 
head of the administration, going even so far as to try to 
prevent the issue of specal instructions to Yuhsien to carry 
out the decree of extermination of June 24th [78] ; and 
his rank was too high and his position at court too well 
established for his warnings to be entirely neglected. As 
commander-in-chief of the Chinese field force, less numerous 
but better trained than the Manchu corps, his power was 
too great to allow of any interference. He did not venture 
to go so far as to withhold his troops from joining in the 
attacks, but he would not allow their artillery to be used 
*.' so near to the imperial palace," and he refused point 
blank to sanction the use of his reserve guns — beautiful 
new pieces, not yet even unpacked. [79] 

[76] Savage- Landor, " China and the Allies," i, p. 201. On one day 
Tls. 1,400,000 in silver from Tientsin was landed at a Japanese port on 
government account. — Tokyo Press, Aug. 3rd, 1900. 

[77] Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 583. 

[78] Chingshan, Diary, July 4th, p. 287. 

[79] " Kangyi called to-day ... he tells me that Tung Fu-siang 
called in person this morning on Junglu and asked him for the loan of the 
heavy artillery which is under his orders. Junglu is said to have ample 
armaments in stock in the city . . . sufficient to knock every foreign 
building to pieces in a few hours. Tung . . . began to bluster, whereupon 
Junglu feigned sleep — he gave no consent, but leant on his seat and slum- 
bered. . . . Tung left in a towering rage," and appealed without success 
to the empress dowager. — Ibid., p. 284. 

" The troops are still very wroth with Junglu, who refuses to lend his 


§ 23. The Old Buddha was frequently in a bad temper 
because of the delay in destroying the legations, [80] but 
Junglu seemed to care nothing for her tantrums. He stood 
alone, except for the Chinese ministers, against his fellow 
Manchus,[81] and early in July he again memorialised, 
warning the empress dowager that " the persons of envoys 
are always held inviolate within the territories of any 
civilised state " ; and that " this attack on the legations 
is worse than an outrage, it is a piece of stupidity which 
will be remembered against China for all time."[82] On 
July 12th he asked what would happen if' the Boxers were 
defeated and Peking captured [83] ; and soon after he 
informed the Old Buddha that he had tc ascertained beyond 
doubt that the document, which purported to come from 
the foreign envoys, demanding her abdication, [84] was a 
forgery, prepared by Lien Wen-chung, a secretary of the 
Grand Council, on an order from Prince Twan."[85] This 
sturdy attitude, strengthened by the failure of the Chinese 
troops to hold Tientsin, produced its effect on the court 
and administration, and even on many of the commanders 
of the troops, [86] and the truce of July 18th followed 

§ 24. Before this the outer world was horrified by the 
circulation of an item of news, which was afterwards found 
to be untrue. The murder of Baron von Ketteler on 
June 20th had been falsely reported six days before it 
occurred, but the news of the actual murder was not 
verified until July 1st, when it was communicated by their 

guns, and his troops are so faithful to him that it is impossible to bribe 
them to disobey him. Junglu's courage is really extraordinary." — Ibid., 
July 4th, p. 286. 

" Junglu has explained, as his reason for not allowing the heavy 
artillery to be used, that it would inevitably have inflicted serious damage 
on the Imperial Shrines and the Ancestral Temple." — Ibid., July 16th, 
p. 291. 

When the relief force occupied Peking, the reserve guns were found 
still in their straw wrappings within a quarter mile of the legations. 

[80] Chingshan, Diary, June 30th, July 4th, 7th, 11th, 16th. 

[81] " Kangyi declares that we shall never take the legations so long 
as Junglu continues to exercise his present great influence at court." — 
Ibid., June 30th, p. 285. 

[82] Ibid., July 7th, p. 288. 

[83] Ibid., July 13th, p. 289. 

[84], Cf. chap, viii, §27. 

[85] iChingshan, Diary, July 16th, p. 290. 



consuls to all the foreign powers. While the news of the 
assassination of an accredited envoy was producing its 
effect on a startled world, the moment seemed opportune 
to some element in the Chinese administrative machinery 
for sending an appeal to the allied foreign powers. This 
appeal, dated July 3rd, while the legations were being 
daily attacked, was addressed from the emperor of China 
separately to the ruler of each government, and in each 
case was based on a special ground. Each appeal attri- 
buted the troubles to the li dissensions " which had 
" arisen between the Christians and the people of Chihli 
and Shantung," and gave the seizure of the Taku forts 
as the actual cause of the hostilities ; but to England it 
was pointed out that " of the foreign commerce of China 
more than 70 per cent, belongs to England," which therefore 
would suffer more than other countries from a continuance 
of disorder [87] ; to America appeal was made to article i 
of the treaty of 1858 by which she might offer her media- 
tion between China and her enemies [88] ; to Germany 
regret was expressed for Baron von Ketteler's murder by 
rebels, whose punishment was promised [89] ; to Japan 
reparation for Mr. Sugiyama's murder was promised, and 
stress was laid on the common interest of Eastern powers 
against the West [90] ; and to France and Russia similar 
appeals were addressed. [91] The powers with one accord 
replied asking for an assurance that their envoys were 
still alive, demanding to be placed in immediate communica- 
tion with them, and proposing that the Chinese troops 
should aid the relieving force in its task. 

§ 25. On July 14th it was reported in Shanghai that 
Sheng Hsiian-hwai, Director General of the Telegraphs, 
had received a telegram from Yuen Shih-kai — " Messenger 
from Peking, July 8th, arrived to-day reports that the 
artillery of the Boxers and Tung Fu-siang's troops made a 
breach in the legation walls, afterwards taking them by 

[87] Lo Feng-lu to Lord Salisbury, July 1 1th, China, No. 3, 1900, p. 113. 

[88] Wu Ting-fang to Mr. Hay, July 11th, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 277. 

[89] Tel. London, July 23rd, North-China Herald, July 25th. 1900. 

[90] Tel. Kobe, July 20th, ibid. 

[91] Tel. London, July 23rd, ibid. Trans, of the appeals to England, 
Russia and Japan in Bland and Backhouse, " China under the Empress 
Dowager," pp. 335 seq. ; to France in Cordier, " Relations de la Chine." 
iii, p. 522. 


assault. Massacre followed, no one left alive. Chinese 
losses enormous. Foreign ammunition exhausted. "[9 2] 
From Newchwang this was independently confirmed by 
the Chinese servant of a foreigner, escaped from Peking, 
who reported that, on July 12th, the British legation 
was destroyed and the foreigners massacred. [93] Sheng 
Hsuan-hwai at once declared that he had not received the 
telegram reported to have been received by him ; but the 
startling news had already been telegraphed to all parts 
of the world ; and no editor or correspondent felt it safe to 
accept the denial. The news was generally believed [94] ; 
the sensational newspapers published the most tragic and 
gruesome details, as circumstantial as if from eye-witnesses ; 
and the world mourned. Three distinguished Englishmen, 
Sir Robert Hart, Sir Claude MacDonald, and Dr. G. E. 
Morrison, had the gratification of reading later a two- 
column obituary notice of each in the Times of July 17th, 
and those of other nationalities in their own papers. [95] 
The tragic news was so fully believed in London that a 
solemn memorial service was ordered at St. Paul's cathedral 
on July 23rd, but, before that date, it was postponed on 
the urgent remonstrances of Mr. J. D. Campbell, who refused 
to admit the truth of the death of his chief, Sir R. Hart. 

§ 26. One effect of the situation which culminated in 
the report that the foreigners in Peking had been mas- 
sacred, and the general belief in its authenticity, was that 
arrangements were made for the continuing administration 

[92] North-China Herald, July 18th, 1900. 

[93] Tel. Chefoo, July 20th, ibid., July 25th, 1900. 

[94] " All Europe has clung with pathetic tenacity to the hope that 
. . . the Europeans in Peking . . . might have escaped a wholesale 
massacre. That hope, growing ever fainter for days past, is now finally 
abandoned by the European Cabinets, and we have to recognise the horrible 
fact that, by an outrage unparalleled in Western experience, the Chinese 
government has flung a sanguinary defiance in the face of the whole 
civilised world."— Times, edit., July 17th, 1900. 

" On July 16th we regarded it as morally certain that Prince Twan 
and the Boxers, with the aid of Tung Fu-siang" and his wild Kansu levies, 
had succeeded in their design to murder all the foreigners in Peking. We 
had it from the Chinese themselves. . . ." — North-China Herald, Aug. 1st, 

[95] " Home papers are full of obituary notices, etc., of myself, and it 
is amusing to see how school and college days are remembered ! A good 
letter I wrote Batcheler in 1886 has also been published by him — I ask, 
Did 1 really write it? That confounded siege and the burning of my place 
appear to have blotted out the past from my memory, and I am living a 
new, or second, life." — R. Hart to E. B> Drew, Oct. 11th, 1900. 


of the customs service. Even before the report of the 
massacre was circulated, the inconvenience of having no 
access to the head of the service and ot oeing able to receive 
no instructions from him had been felt in many ways ; 
there was no authority to issue funds for the maintenance 
of certain offices, or to draw on the official accounts at the 
banks ; and, w?hile the customs collection must continue 
to be available * to meet the payments due on China's 
foreign loans, yet the foreign authorities were concerned 
that it should not be used for the war expenditure of the 
Peking administration, and were quite ready, if necessary, 
to sequester the receipts in order to prevent a hostile use. 
On the last head the consuls at Shanghai were especially 
anxious lest the revenue should be used to equip Li Ping- 
heng's force, then on its march north [96] ; and the other 
causes had already set in motion some tendencies to dis- 
integration. At Canton Li Hung-chang had already 
placed the Kwangtung offices under the commissioner at 
Canton, making his jurisdiction co-extensive with that 
of the Hoppo ; the officer then in charge of the Hankow 
customs was suspected of aiming at a similar imperium in 
imperio ; and at Shanghai certain intrigues were noted, 
aiming at placing at the head of the whole service a gentle- 
man not in any way connected with the service. 

§ 27. To fill the post during the " temporary seclu- 
sion " of Sir R. Hart there were, from the standpoint of 
regularity, three men available. The senior commissioner 
was Mr. Edward B. Drew, with thirty-five years' service 
and a commissioner since 1868, an official of considerable 
capacity, and much respected both by his colleagues and 
by Chinese and foreign officials ; but he was tied to his 
important duties at Tientsin, and, being an American, his 
appointment would have contravened the agreement 
that a British subject should be at the head of the service, 
at a time when it was not wished to provoke international 
jealousies. At the. head of the most important office, 
Shanghai, was Mr. Frank A. Aglen ; he was British, but 
one of the junior commissioners, and he too must have 
dropped his serious responsibilities. The third was Mr. 
Francis E. Taylor, British, a commissioner of middling 
seniority, and an Inspectorate secretary in charge of the 

[961 Cf. chap, x, § 1. 


Statistical Department, with his office at Shanghai. Of 
these three the Inspectorate secretary, Mr. Taylor, was the 
logical choice, and, on July 10th, he was approached by a 
member of the consular body with the proposal that he 
should assume the tempora y direction of the service. 
After consulting with Mr. Aglen, he announced his readi- 
ness to undertake thecharge ; and, on July 14th, on the 
initiative of the consular body, the Nanking viceroy, as 
Nanyang Tachen, addressed to him a despatch instructing 
him to assume temporary charge of the customs. The 
foreign powers were already disturbed by the possible 
consequences of the interregnum, and the report of the 
massacre came at just that time to increase the uneasiness ; 
and Mr. Taylor's appointment was accepted by them with- 
out hesitation. [97] 

§ 28. The Yangtze viceroys had grasped tne power to 
administer the affairs of the empire outside the radius of 
Boxer activity, and the hand of their associate, Li Hung- 
chang, is plainly visible in the control of international 
relations. On June 10th Sir R. Hart sent him a telegram, 
followed by a letter on the 12th, explaining the state of 
affairs and advising him, as the empress dowager's oldest 
and most trusted adviser, to warn her that the advice of 
her Boxer counsellors would endanger the empire and the 
dynasty, and that envoys must be held sacred. [98] When 
the outbreak came Li announced, on June 21st, that he 
had been summoned to Peking ; he did not go, but he 
instructed the Chinese envoys abroad to give such explana- 
tions to foreign powers as fitted in with the intentions of 
the viceroys and not with those of the rulers at Peking. [99] 
On July 13th he received an imperial decree of the 9th 
appointing him again viceroy of Chihli and Peiyang 
Tachen [100] ; he left Canton on the 16th, fully expecting 
to be welcomed as the grand mediator between an offend- 
ing China and the outraged foreign powers. He received 
satisfactory assurances from the various Foreign Offices 
that the powers sought no territorial acquisitions [101] ; 
but at Hongkong the governor told him that his place was 

[97] Mr. Taylor to Sir R. Hart, Sept. 7th, 1 900. 

[98] R. Hart, " Sinim,'" p. 18. 

[99] Cf. antea, § 4. 

[100] Text in U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 172. 

[101] Mr, Hay to Wu Ting-fang, July 18th, ibid., p. 279. 


at Canton [102] ; and at Shanghai he was told by the 
consuls that, if the envoys were alive, he must negotiate 
with them, and if they were dead, he must deal with the 
home governments.[103] Li Hung-chang was visibly much 
chagrined at his reception in Shanghai and the relations 
with foreign powers which were thus indicated to him; 
but to his own government there can be no doubt that, at 
this juncture, he gave salutary advice. Given then the fall 
of Tientsin and the shock caused thereby to the anti- 
foreign party, the renewal of Junglu's protests and admoni- 
tions, and the advice now strongly urged by Li Hung-chang 
and, probably, the Yangtze viceroys, we have a sufficient 
explanation of the " truce " of July 18th. 

§ 29. At Peking that lull in the siege was preceded by 
a serio-comic semi-truce which began on the 14th, the day 
of the actual fall of Tientsin, five days after the issue of the 
decree calling Li Hung-chang from Canton to Chihli. On 
that day an intercepted legation messenger was returned 
unharmed, bearing with him a communication from 
" Prince Ching and others H — resembling the usual form 
adopted for heading despatches from the Tsungli Yamen, 
but one adapted for concealing the identity of those actually 
responsible for the contents of the despatch. Several such 
communications were received, " delivered at one point 
along our long front, whilst the rifle duel was continuing 
elsewhere with the same monotony. "[104] The first 
letter expressed naively a pained surprise at the continued 
attacks by the legation guards, " causing alarm and sus- 
picion among soldiers and people," and a fear that the 
strength of the Boxers would prevent the Chinese govern- 
ment from carrying out its intention of escorting the 
foreigners to Tientsin. The envoys were now requested 
to take refuge in the precincts of the Tsungli Yamen, with 
their families and the members of their staffs ; " but there 
must not on any account whatever be taken any single 
armed foreign soldier, in order to avoid causing doubt and 
fear in the minds of the troops and people." An answer 
was required by noon of the next day. [105] This " dilly, 

[102] Tel. Hongkong, July 18th, North-China Herald, July 25th, 1900. 
[103] Ibid. 

[104] Putnam Weale, " Indiscreet Letters," p. 156. 
[105] Trans, in Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 340 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1900, 
pp. 177 seq. 


dilly, duck " invitation [106] was not accepted ; but the 
answer pointed out that the persons of envoys were always 
and in all places regarded as sacred, and that all fighting 
had been in self-defence. In their reply to this " Prince 
Chjng and others " promised to restrain their soldiers, 
and declared that " the Chinese government will exert 
all its efforts to keep order and give protection, in accord- 
ance with general law. "[107] 

§ 30. Firing ceased before July 18th, [108] and it was 
on the 17th that an imperial decree was dated, which was 
communicated to the foreign powers. It ascribed the 
conflict to " the long-standing antagonism between the 
people and Christian missions, and the subseouent fall of 
the Taku forts precipitated the meeting of force with 
force." The Chinese government had u refused to inter- 
rupt relations," and had "repeatedly issued decrees pro- 
viding for the protection of the foreign legations, and also 
commanded the provincial authorities to protect mission- 
aries." They were again directed to give protection to all. 
Deep regret was expressed for the killing of Mr. Sugiyama 
and the " violent -removal " of the German envoy, and the 
murderers were to be arrested and punished. Further 
orders were issued for compensation to be given for murders 
and loss of property, and to " investigate the disturbances 
and take such measures for the punishment of the offenders 
and restoration of order as the necessities of the case 
demand." And the decree was to be generally pub- 

§ 31. This decree was the culmination of efforts by 
Dr. Jekyll to adjust the evil doing of Mr. Hyde in the 
Chinese administration. During the first half of July 
constant efforts to minimise the effect on Western nations 
of the prolonged silence cast over the Peking legations had 
been made by the Chinese envoys abroad, especially by 

[106] " I hear that not manj r days ago persuaded Kisiu to have a 

letter sent to the foreign envoys, inviting them to come, without, escort 
of troops, to an interview with the Tsungli Yamen. his idea being to have 
them all massacred on the way." — Chingshan, Diarv, Aug. 5th, p. 295. 

[107] Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 344. 

[108] "There were only five rifle shots during the whole night" of 
July 17th-l 8th.— Ibid., i, p. 352. 

[109] Decree July 17th, telegraphed by Liu Kun-yi July 20th, trans- 
mitted by Wu Ting- fang to Mr. Hay, July 23rd, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, 
p. 280. 


Wu Ting-fang in America. He had incessantly assured 
the American government and representatives of the press 
that all was well with the legations ; that, except for Baron 
von Ketteler, the envoys were alive ; that the Chinese 
government was giving them full protection and was 
itself coerced by rebellious Boxers ; and that the Western 
powers should not visit the sins of the Boxers on the un- 
offending Chinese administration ; in effect he ascribed 
to the court of Peking all the virtuous and laudable inten- 
tions of the viceroys of the south. Mr. Hay imposed on 
him, as a test of the correctness of his attitude, that he 
should send Mr. Conger a telegram, and should get a reply, 
both in the State Department cipher. In the middle of 
the semi-truce, on July 16th, Mr. Conger received from the 
Tsungli Yamen a telegram which, deciphered, read " com- 
municate tidings bearer." On asking explanations, he was 
informed that Wu Ting-fang had telegraphed — " The 
government of the United States is disposed to lend its 
aid to China, but it desires first to have news of Mr. Conger's 
situation." The envoy then, on July 17th, sent the follow- 
ing reply — "'For one month we have been besieged in 
British legation under continued shot and shell from 
Chinese troops ; quick relief only can prevent general 
massacre. "[110] This telegram was duly transmitted 
and its receipt in Washington on the 20th relieved the 
minds of the many millions of anxious watchers as to the 
personal safety of the envoys ; but, it drew a disquieting 
picture of the plight of the legation staffs and the mission- 
aries, and of their families and adherents, thus beleaguered. 
§ 32. The truce, after the first day or two, was not com- 
plete, but it gave the besieged a much needed rest, at a 
time when they were almost at the last extremity [111] ; 
there was also some exchange of amenities. On July 20th 
the Tsungli Yamen by imperial order sent a gift of veget- 
ables and watermelons. Much was made of this generosity, 
and the Chinese envoys abroad let it be known that their 
government was supplying the legations with provisions, 

[110] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, July 16th, U.S. For Rel., 1900, p. 156 ; 
Report by M. Pichon, sub July 16th, 17th, Doc. Dip., France, 1900, p. 214 ; 
North-China Herald, July 25th, 1900. 

[Ill] " It is now [July 14th] said by those who seem to have the right 
to form a judgment, that the French will not be able to hold out in their 
legation more than two days." — Smith, " Convulsion," i, p. 339. 


as well as giving them efficient protection.[112] The 
former assurance was as ludicrous as the latter was auda- 
cious, and the provisions so ostentatiously advertised 
abroad would not have sufficed for one day's maintenance 
of the beleaguered throng. For the Well-being of their 
honoured administrator, Sir R. Hart, the Chinese ministers 
showed much concern. On July 21st a note asked his 
whereabouts, and another asked his opinion on the arrange- 
ment made by Liu Kun-yi for administering the customs ; 
on the 25th he had sent to him a telegram of inquiry from 
Mr. Aglen ; and at other dates up to August 10th he had 
four other notes, two of them enclosing telegrams of anxious 
inquiry from his family and from Mr. J. D. Campbell. [11 3] 
Both he and each one of the foreign envoys wished to send 
coded telegrams sucn as had been allowed to Mr. Conger ; 
but the indulgence of the Chinese ministers was not to be 
stretched so far, and the envoys were informed that as 
" at present peace is not restored, your legation telegrams 
must be wholly en clair, stating that all is well, without 
touching on military affairs. "[114] To this requirement, 
depriving the recipients of the only test of authenticity, 
the envoys could not accede. 

§ 33. The Yangtze viceroys had faithfully carried out 
their part in their compact, and now Li Hung-chang took 
in hand his task of straightening out the tangle in China's 
international relations. Liu Kun-yi and Chang Chih- 
tung, after the fall of Tientsin, at the end of the truce, and 
after the relief of Peking, steadily declared their loyalty 
to the empress dowager and their opposition to the Boxer 
movement, but stated that their position of neutrality was 
contingent on a guarantee that the empress dowager's 
person should be respected [115] ; and the policy of Li 

[112] " From an inquiry made [in a telegram and a letter] it was 
evident i had everywhere been given out that the government was both 
protecting and provisioning the legations. We had always feared some 
such assurances would be our ruin, but fortunately for us the telegram 
of Mr. Conger exploded this idea, and the governments concerned woke 
up to the fact that their representatives were in danger." — Hart, " Sinim," 
p. 38 

[113] Hart, " Sinim," p. 37. 

[114] Prince Ching and others to Sir C. MacDonald, July 25th, 1900, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 183 ; China, No. 4, 1900, p. 42. 

[115] Consul Fraser (Hankow) to Lord Salisbury, July 17th; consul 
Warren (Shanghai) to same, Aug. 1st, 18th, 1900 ; cited in H. C. Thomson, 
" China and the Powers," p. 196. 


Hung-chang was based on the same postulate. His exact 
purpose being, however, not quite clear, the American 
consul at Shanghai was instructed to ask for an explicit 
declaration, and he reported — " Purpose attempt persuade 
throne send envoys Tientsin ; afterwards hopes military 
operations will be suspended, then negotiations can 
follow ; Boxers and troops can be stopped by Chinese 
government ; asks is it possible, if envoys are escorted 
Tientsin safely, that military operations can be suspended ? 
Assures envoys now safe."[116] Mr. Hay's answer was 
not prompt, but it was decided — "This government will 
not enter into any arrangement regarding disposition or 
treatment of legation without first having free com- 
munication with Mr. Conger. Responsibility for their 
protection rests upon Chinese government. Power to 
deliver at Tientsin presupposes power to protect and to 
open communication. This is insisted on. "[117] 

§ 34. All the powers had repeatedly insisted on the 
responsibility of the Chinese government for the lives of 
their envoys, but the question was how to enforce it. The 
consular body at Tientsin, on the same day, June 29th, on 
which they " handed over the situation to the military 
authorities, "[118] unanimously agreed to suggest to the 
powers that " the Chinese government should be informed 
that, in case the persons of the foreign envoys are touched, 
the mausolea of the dynasty will be destroyed by the 
foreign troops " ; and to this decision the commander- 
in-chief gave his support. [119] The proposal was not 
regarded favorably, as appearing " very unlikely to have 
any effect upon mutinous soldiery or a riotous mob " ; but, 
on similar lines, it was proposed that a collective declara- 
tion should be made by all the powers that, " if any act of 
violence is committed against the legations, all authorities 
at Peking, of whatever rank, will be held responsible in 
person and property. "[120] The declaration was made to 

[116] Mr. GoodnowtoMr. Hay, July 24th, IIS. For. Rel., 1900, p. 260. 

[117] Mr. Hay to Mr. Goodnow, July 30th, ibid. 

[118] Gen. Dorvvard to War Office, July 4th, 1900, China, No. 3. 1900, 
p. 98. 

[119] Consul Carles to Lord Salisbury, June 29th, 1900, ibid., p. 85. 

[120] Lord Salisbury to Lord Gough, July 2nd, ibid., p. 90 ; M. 
Delcasse to French ambassadors, July 4th, M. Paul Cambon and others to 
M. Delcass6, July 4th, 5th, Doc. Dip., 1900, pp. 6S seq. 


the Chinese envoys abroad, [121] but the acts of violence 
continued to be committed. 

§ 35. Junglu and Prince Ching were credited in some 
quarters with having created a " counter-revolution " ilt 
Peking [122] ; in any case the first proposal of July 14th 
that the envoys without guards should take refuge in the 
Tsungli Yamen, was on the 19th modified to a renewal of 
the proposal to send them under escort to Tientsin ; and 
the warning was added that if the envoys " determine to 
stay in Peking and if there should happen any unforeseen 
disaster," the Chinese administration, having " faithfully 
given warning in advance, cannot accept the responsi- 
bility. "[12 3] In their reply the envoys asked " why, if 
the Chinese government cannot insure the protection of 
the foreign envoys in Peking, they feel confident of their 
power to do >?o outside the city on the way to Tientsin " ; 
and with reference to the warning, it declared that, " as 
the foreign envoys have come to Peking in reliance on the 
protection of the Chinese court, it is impossible for the 
latter to free itself from the responsibility for their 
safety. "[124] In fact the foreign envoys considered that 
the proposal meant " certain death,"[125] and their 
opinion was in strong contrast with the benevolent attitude 
assumed by the Chinese administration, which, under 
date of July 30th, assured the foreign powers — " Foreign 
ministers in Peking are all safe and well. . Recently 
vegetables, fruit, and provisions have been repeatedly 
supplied to them. Relations most friendly. At present 
consultations are going on for the protection of various 
ministers going to Tientsin for temporary shelter, which 
will soon be concluded satisfactorily."[126] 

[121] Lord Salisbury to consul Warren, July 5th, China, No. 3, 1900, 
p. 99. 

[122] Declared by Sheng Hsiian-hwai as true on July 3rd; com- 
municated by Belgian consul at Shanghai ; transmitted by French envoy 
at Brussels, July 8th ; circulated by M. Delcasse to French ambassadors, 
July 9th ; in Doc. Dip., 1900, pp. 75, 76. 

[123] Prince Ching and others to Sir C. MacDonald, July 19th, China, 
No. 4, 1900, p. 41 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 181. 

[124] Sir C. MacDonald to Prince Ching and others, July 20th, China, 
No. 4, 1900, p. 42 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 181. 

[125] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Aug. 3rd (rec'd Aug. 7th), U.S. For. Rel., 
1900, p. 157. 

[126] Tsungli Yamen, Peking July 30th, Shanghai Aug. 2nd, received 
by Wu Ting- fang Aug. 3r«*, communicated Aug. 4th, ibid., p. 282. 

Ill— 17 


§ 36. The proposal was taken up by Li Hung-chang 
and his fellow viceroys a little later. They telegraphed 
on August 4th the summary of an imperial decree of the 
2nd, which declared that, t; throughout the disturbances 
recently caused by our subjects on account of Christian 
missions," effective protection had been given to the lega- 
tions ; but as this protection " may not secure absolute 
safety, the foreign envoys are being consulted as to the 
proposed plan of detailing troops to escort them safely 
to Tientsin"; Junglu was charged with the duty of 
escorting the envoys, and their telegrams in plain language 
would be transmitted. [127] The latter restriction was 
removed by a decree of August 5th, which sanctioned the 
transmission of cipher telegrams [128] ; and this enabled 
Mr. Hay to reply on the strength of a telegram received 
on the 7th, that " imperial troops are firing daily upon the 
envoys in Peking," and to " demand the immediate cessa- 
tion of hostile attacks by imperial troops " ; further, as 
the envoys had done, he pointed out that " if the Chinese 
government cannot protect our envoy in Peking, it will 
presumptively be unable to protect him upon a journey 
from Peking to the coast " ; he therefore again urged 
co-operation by the Chinese with the relief expedition.[129] 
In communicating the decree of August 2nd to the French 
minister, the Chinese envoy was instructed to ask (,t if, 
thr&ugh the delay caused by the hesitation of the envoys, 
an accident should happen, who will beheld responsible ? ' 
and the mmister was urged to instruct his envoy to accept 
the proposal without further delay.[130] M. Delcasse's 
reply was categoric — " Without doubt the Chinese govern- 
ment will be held responsible ; its strict duty is to protect 
the foreign envoys as much, or even more than itself" ; 
it should and could open the ways from Tientsin to the 
capital and so fulfil the task of protection which was in- 
cumbent on it. [131] The British government held the 

[127] Li Hung-chang, Liu Kun-yi and Sheng Hsiian-hwai to Chinese 
envoy at St. Petersburg, Aug. 4th, received by him Aug. 7th, communi- 
cated at Washington Aug. 8th (Wu Ting-fang to Mr. Hay, U.S. For. Rei., 
1900, p. 283) and at Paris Aug. 9th (Yukeng to M. Delcasse, Doc. Dip., 
1900, p. 120). 

[128] Wu Ting-famg to Mr. Hay, Aug. 8th, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 283. 

[129] Mr. Hay to Wu Ting-fang, Aug. 8th, ibid., p. 284. 

[130] Yukeng to M. Delcasse, Aug. 9th, ubi sup. 

[131] M. Delcasse to Yiikeng, Aug. 10th, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 12L 


same opinion. [132] The Japanese government proposed a 
suspension of fighting, on condition that the relief expedi- 
tion might bring away the Peking community without 
opposition [133] ; but by this time the relief had been 
effected against opposition and by armed force. 

§ 37. The negotiations at Peking on the subject of 
the withdrawal to Tientsin continued from July 19th to 
August 6th. [134] During a part of this time, until 
July 28th, the quiet intermission continued with some 
sporadic outbursts of firing ; but " during the 26th, 27th and 
28th there were ominous signs that the truce was nearing 
its end " ; and " the 29th marked the definite resump- 
tion of hostilities. "[135] On that day Li Ping-heng, who 
had arrived a few days earlier, was received in audience by 
the empress dowager [136] ; and from that day, four days 
before the issue of the decree of August 2nd, nine days 
before the issue of a decree of August 7th appointing Li 
Hung-chang to the task of opening his negotiations, and 
during the course of his negotiations and those of " Prince 
Ching and others," the legations were again subjected to 
a storm of shot and shell, and their inmates to all the 
privations and dangers of a siege. 

[132] Sir E. Monson to M. Delcasse, Aug. 15th, ibid., p. 126. 

[133] M. Delcasse to French Ambassadors, Aug. 1 6th, ibid., p. 129. 

[134] Letters from " Prince Ching and others " on the subject of the 
withdrawal to Tientsin, July 19th, 25th, 28th, 31st, Aug. 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th ; 
China, No. 4, 1900, pp. 41 seq. ; U.S. For. Rel., 1900, pp. 181 seq. ; Report 
of M. Pichon, Doc. Dip., 1900, pp. 216 seq. 

[135] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 20th, China, No. 4, 
1900, p. 33. 

[1361 Ibid. 



1. Li Ping-heng ordered to Peking, June, 1900 . . . 260 

2. Supports aggressive party ; strikes at pro-foreign Chinese, 

July 28 261 

3. Scanty news from Peking during Jury . . . .262 

4. Expectation of relief in legations ..... 263 

5. Early move from Tientsin not thought possible . . 264 

6. Japan urged to move ; European powers hesitate . . 265 

7. Japan agrees to act under British guarantee . . . 266 

8. American and British governments urge forward movement 267 

9. Allied forces advance from Tientsin, Aug. 4 . 

10. Attacks by Chinese elsewhere consequent on movement 

11. Negotiations with envoys at Peking, Aug. 1-3 . 

12. Advance from Pehtsang to Tungchow, Aug. 5-12 

13. Li Hung-chang's negotiations, July 24— Aug. 16 

14. British troops landed at Shanghai, Aug. 12-17 

15. Negotiations with envoys at Peking, Aug. 4-13 

16. Plans of allied commanders at Tungchow, Aug. 12-13 

17. Independent Russian action ; consequent American advance 

Aug. 14 ...... . 

18. British troops first to enter legation, Aug. 14 . 

19. The relief of the besieged legations 

20. Great sufferings of foreign community and converts 

21. Casualties among foreign defending force 

22. American assault on Forbidden City, Aug. 15, stopped 

23. Heroic defence of the Pehtang ; its relief, Aug. 16 . 

24. Flight of the court from Peking . . . 

25. The government of China transferred to Sianfu 

26. The punishment of Peking ..... 

27. Peking occupied by allied forces under martial law . 

28. Military promenade through imperial palace, Aug. 28 

29. Depth of humiliation of the empire 




§ 1. Li Ping-heng was, in 1897, governor of Shantung, 
and in his jurisdiction occurred the murder of the German 
missionaries, which provided the ground for the occupation 
of the Kiaochow territory ; as part of the settlement he 
was cashiered and declared forever ineligible for any 



official post.fl] Notwithstanding this degradation, in 

1899 he was appointed High Commissioner to investigate 

the financial condition of Manchuria [2] ; and, as Kangyi 

the Manchu had dealt with the Chinese officials of the 

centre and south, so the Chinese Li Ping-heng dealt with 

the Manchu officials in the home of the dynasty. Towards 

the end of 1899 he was appointed High Commissioner in 

supreme command of -the naval forces on the Yangtze, 

and in that post was brought into a position of friction with 

the two viceroys, with whose general policy he was at 

variance. Early in June, 1900, before any overt act had 

been committed except by Boxers, he was ordered to 

44 proceed north w r ith all speed " [3] ; and it was reported 

that, on his arrival, he w r as to be appointed viceroy of 

Chihli.[4] He tried to evade the proffered honour and 

pleaded the only excuse permitted to a Chinese official — - 

illness ; but his plea was answered by " urgent orders to 

come at once."[5] His orders, not later than June 10th, 

taken in conjunction with the appointment on that day of 

Prince Twan to the Tsungli Yamen, are a significant item 

in the account against the ruling powers in Peking. He 

left Yangchow on July 1st, but returned there as the 

troops at Tsingkiangpu, about 12,000 Hunanese, refused 

to folio w him, or to obey any orders except those sent 

through their fellow-provincial, Liu Kun-yi.[6] He 

obtained other troops, and with them, on his way north, 

he effected the slaughter of over a thousand Chinese 

converts in the prefecture of Hokienfu in Chihli, an act 

which led the Yangtze and southern viceroys to send 

memorials of protest. [7 J In that same prefecture, at the 

flourishing Roman Catholic mission of Hienhien 30,000 

converts w r ere then entrenched, 12,000 men of them being 

armed ; they had sufficient food and ammunition, and 

successfully defended themselves for over two months. [8] 

§ 2. Li Ping-heng had his first audience of the empress 

[1] Cf. chap, v, § 6, 7, 9. 

[2] Cf. chap, vii, S 10. 

[3] North-China Herald, June !3th, 1900. 

[4] Ibid., June 20th, 1900. 

[5] Ibid., June 27th, 1900. 

[6] Corresp. Chinkiang, July 7th, ibid., July 11th, 1900. Cf. chap, ix, 

[7] North-China Herald, Aug. 8th, 1900. 

[8] Ibid., Aug. 15th, 1900. 


dowager on July 22nd ; and, embittered as he was by his 
previous degradation, he threw his weight into the scale 
on the side of Prince Twan, Kangyi and Tung Fu-siang, 
and obtained the confidence of the empress dowager. [9] 
He struck at once at the peace party. Yuen Chang and 
Hsii Ching-cheng on July 23rd, while the negotiations with 
the foreign envoys were proceeding, V handed in the third 
of their memorials against the Boxers, in which they re- 
commended the execution of several members of the Grand 
Council " ; the chronicler observes that " their valour 
seems to be more laudable than their discretion, especially 
as the old Buddha is disposed once more to believe in the 
Boxers as the result of Li Ping-heng's audience with her 
yesterday. "[10] While the empress dowager was in this 
mood, the matter of altering the text of the decree of exter- 
mination was brought up against them, and the two were 
decapitated July 28th.[ll] Orders were also sent to 
Chang Yin-hwan, sentenced in 1898 to transportation to 
Turkestan, [12] to commit suicide, failing which he was 
to be decapitated. [13] These proscriptions were not 
only a stroke against the advocates of peace in Peking, 
but were a serious menace to the viceroys who were 
making agreements and negotiating conditions in the 

§ 3. Li Ping-heng was at the same time appointed 
generalissimo in joint command, together with Junglu, 
of the Chinese field force [14] ; the commander-in-Chief 
who would not direct hostilities was too powerful to be 
disturbed, but he was neutralised by being given a colleague 
who was more willing to be active. From the day of his 
arrival, even during the truce, Li Ping-heng began to push 

[9] " The Old Buddha places great confidence in Li Ping-heng." — Bland 
and Backhouse, " Empress Dowager," Chingshan, Diary, July 28th, p. 293. 

[10] Ibid., July 23rd, p. 292. Trans, of three memorials, June 20th- 
July 23rd, in U.S. For. Rel., 1901, Appendix, pp. 75 seq. 

[11] " It is most painful to me to think of the end of Yuen Chang, for 
he had many sterling qualities. As for Hsii, I knew him in the days when 
we were colleagues in the Grand Secretariat, and I never had a high opinion 
of the man ; his corruption was notorious." — Chingshan, Diary, July 28th, 
p. 294. 

The decree ordering their execution did not appear in the Peking 
Gazette until July 29th. 

[12] Cf. chap, vi, § 22. 

[13] North-China Herald, Aug. 15th, 1900. 

[14] Ibid.', Aug. 8th, 1900. 


the court to a renewal of hostilities,[15] and within a week, 
on July 29th, the attack was renewed in all its fury. The 
broad facts of the continued existence and the extreme 
peril of the foreigners were known from Mr. Conger's 
telegram of July 17th, received July 20th ; but the details 
were first made known to a startled world by a telegram 
sent on July 21st by Dr. G. E. Morrison, the Times' corre- 
spondent, and published in its issue of August 2nd. Letters 
were sent with the greatest difficulty, very few got through 
to Tientsin, and those few were a long time on the way ; 
from August 5th, the belated permission to send cipher 
telegrams allowed a few curt appeals to go through, but 
these were, by this time, supererogatory, since Dr. Morr - 
son's telegram of July 21st had sufficiently enlightened the 
powers. It was in July that news was wanting and was 
wanted ; and but little authentic information from Peking 
was received between the receipt at Tientsin on June 29th 
of Sir R. Hart's note of June 24th — " Besieged in British 
Legation. Situation desperate. Make haste " — and on 
July 25th of a note from Mr. Conger, dated July 21st — 
" We have provisions for several weeks, but little ammu- 
nition. If they continue to shell us as they have 
done we can't hold out long. Hope relief can come 
soon." To the Tientsin date must be added two or three 
days [16] before a message could reach the cable end at 

§ 4. -During July then the powers knew from Sir R. 
Hart that the Peking community was besieged, that the 
situation was desperate, and that haste was imperative ; 
on July 20th they learned from Mr. Conger that it was 
under continuous shot and shell fire ; and from the 14th 
to the 20th they believed that the entire community had 
been massacred. Haste in relief was indeed imperative. 
The besieged looked for it from the Seymour force ; after 
June 20th they looked for it even more eagerly and more 

[151 " I went across to Duke Lan's house this morning and foQnd 
Prince Twan. and Li Ping-heng there. They were busy planning a renewed 
attack on the legations, and Li was strongly in favour of mining from the 
Hanlin Academy side." — Chingshan, Diary, July 23rd ? p. 293. 

[16] E.g. in North-China Herald, July 25th, 1900, appears a telegram 
dated " Tientsin July 17th, via Chefoo July 20th " ; and the capture of 
Tientsin, July 14th, is reported in a telegram " Chefoo July 17th." To 
Chinese officials communication was quicker. 


confidently as day passed after day. [17] They knew 
nothing of the dire straits of the Tientsin settlements, but 
they did assume that large forces were gathering, and that 
these would soon brush aside the ill-disciplined masses of 
the Chinese troops and would bring them safety in no long 
time. Again and again over-anxious ears caught the 
sound of distant firing, which could only come from a 
relieving force — and this even before the capture of Tientsin ; 
again and again the besieged reassured each other with 
the hope that relief, though not yet within hearing, must 
still come soon ; again and again even hopes were found to 
be illusory ; and when finally the relieving force did come, 
the besieged knew of its proximity only a few hours before. 
§ 5. At the end of June the foreign forces between 
Taku and Tientsin numbered 14,000 in all, of whom 6000 
were Russian and 4000 Japanese ; of these 9223 were at 
Tientsin. [18] When Tientsin fell on July 14th the foreign 
forces there numbered about 12,000 ; and by the end of 
July they were increased to about 17,000, viz. Japanese, 
8000, Russian, 4000, British, 2000, American, 1700, and 
the rest of the other four nationalities, chiefly French. [19] 
The question of the relief of Peking was much on the 
minds of all the commanders ; some advocated an attempt 
at all hazards, with any forces available ; others were 
daunted by the difficulty of campaigning under the burning 
sun, by difficulties of feeding the troops in the field, by the 
poisoned water supply, by difficulties of transport, and, 
above all, by the fear that a reverse would imperil the lives 
and fortunes of all foreigners in North China. Even the 
forward advocates demanded a field force of 25,000, 
besides the necessary guards from Taku to Peking ; and 
the demands of the more cautious ranged from that figure 
to 80,000 for the field force alone. [20] All were agreed 

[17] " Shell firing ceased July 16th ; quiet now ; hope it means relief 
force, having defeated Chinese, is nearing." — Dr. Coltman tel. July 20th, 
received Shanghai July 31st, North-China Herald, Aug. 8th, 1900. 

[18] Adm. Bruce to Admiralty, June 30th, Adm. Seymour to same, 
July 2nd, 1900, China, No. 3, 1900, pp. 86, 99. 

[19] Tel. Tientsin, July 26th, North-China Herald, Aug. 8th, 1900. 

[20] At the beginning of July Adm. Alexeieff , commanding the Russiai 
troops, estimated the necessary field force at " 20,000 to 30,000 men,' 
besides 20,000 to guard communication and hold the occupied points.— 
Marquis de Montebello to M. Delcass6, St. Petersburg, July 4th. Doc. Dip. 
1900, p. 67. 

But the council of .admirals informed the American admiral thi 


that the necessary forces could not be assembled and their 
equipment and transport provided before September ; 
and the earliest date at which an advance was considered 
probable was September 15th. 

§ 6. England was in the midst of the war in South 
Africa and could send only Indian troops ; France could, 
except after a long delay, send only Annamese tirailleurs ; 
Germany mobilised a force of 7000 at home, but meantime 
could spare only a few naval ratings ; a few thousand 
American soldiers were sent from the Philippines ; and 
Italy and Austria-Hungary had no troops within call. 
Russia could hold down Manchuria, and sent some thousands 
into Chihli, but there was obviously a limit to their number. 
Japan alone could send unlimited thousands, and could 
send them promptly, and to her, sooner or later, the powers 
turned. The British government appealed to her at once 
and, on June 22nd, asked if further forces were to be sent — 
" the urgency of immediate action and the favourable 
geographical situation of Japan make her intentions a 
matter of very grave importance in this difficulty. "[21] 
The Japanese administration had five years before come 
into collision with the European three-power coalition, 
and only two years before had noted with interest that it 
still held together, and it feared to be drawn into a diffi- 
culty ; the Foreign Minister now declared that Japan 
was " desirous of conforming its resolves to those of the 
[other] powers interested " ; and at a second interview 
he said that " of course Japan has troops at her disposal, 
but that it was impossible to foresee the consequences of 
sending them " ; three days later, however, Japan mobilised 
a division in anticipation of a final decision. [22] Lord 

the field force must consist of " at least 60,000 men," besides the necessary 
guards. — Adm. Courrejolles to M. de Lanessan. Taku, July 7th, ibid., p. 74 ; 
Adm. KempH's raport, July 8th. cited in Daggett, " China Relief Expedi- 
tion," p. 43. 

The Japanese government thought the field force should be 70,000 
strong. — Mr. Whitehead to Lord Salisbury, Tokyo, July 4th, China, No. 3, 
1900, p. 97. 

At the end of July Gen. Dorward (British) put the field force required 
at 25,000 men ( Savage- Landor, " China and the Allies," i, p. 325) ; but the 
Russian and Japanese commanders held out for a larger force, one of 
them stipulating for 80,000 men. Cf. M. Delcass6 to M. Paul Cambon 
Aug. 3rd, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 111. 

[21] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Whitehead. June 22nd. China, No. 3, 1900, 
p. 09. 

[22] Mr. Whitehead to Lord Salisbury, June 23rd, 26th, ibid., pp. 72, 76. 


Salisbury then asked the Russian, German and French 
governments if they would approve. [23] The French 
minister, on June 27th, " did not give any intimation of 
his opinion " [24] ; but, on July 4th, he thought it 
'•' essential that unity of action and unity of direction 
on the spot should not be hindered .by any afterthought 
or jealousy." arid he " hoped that the Japanese govern- 
ment would at once despatch the mobilised division which 
was available. "[25] Germany, on June 28th, was " un- 
able to judge whether the interests of third powers would 
be affected " by Japanese intervention, " or whether the 
responsibility of supporting it could be undertaken by 
Germany. "[26] Then the news of Baron von Ketteler's 
murder was received, and, on July 2nd, the emperor made 
a warlike speech [27] and ordered the mobilisation of a 
brigade 7000 strong ; and the government declared its 
policy to the Russian government, said to be identical 
with the Russian policy. [28] The Russian minister 
declared, on June 28th, that " we have no desire to hinder 
Japan's liberty of action," but did not commit himself 
further. [29] On July 3rd, he brought himself to decl&re 
that, while " in face of so grave a crisis there were objec- 
tions to a mandate being given to any one power," still he 
" would welcome a Japanese or any other force of 20,000 
or 30,000 men to co-operate in the common aim " ; and he 
said that 10,000 Russian troops had already been landed. [30] 
§ 7. Lord Salisbury had to be content with this and he 
telegraphed, indicating the extreme gravity of the situa- 
tion and urging that " Japan is the only power which can 
send rapid reinforcements to Tientsin, and no objection 
has been raised by any European power to this course. "[31] 
The Japanese government " considered the troubles in 
North China much more deep-rooted and of far wider 
bearings " than they seemed to others, and it wished to be 
" assured that Japan will be protected from complications, 

[23] Lord Salisbury to ambassadors, June 25th, 26th, ibid., p. 75. 

[24] Sir E. Monson to Lord Salisbury, June 27th, ibid., p. 80. 

[25] Same to same, July 4th, ibid., p. 96. 

[26] Lord Gough to same, July 1st, ibid., pp. 26, 91. 

[27] Cf. chap, xi, § 24. 

[28] Sir C. Scott to Lord Salisbury, July 3rd, China, No. 3, 1900, p. 92. 

[29] Same to same, July 28th, ibid., pp. 81, 94. 

[30] Ibid., July 3rd, 4th, ibid., pp. 92, 96. 

[31] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Whitehead, July 4th, ibid., p. 98. 


and indemnified for her outlay. "[32] Without waiting 
for an answer Japan decided to increase her force at 
Tientsin to 20,000 .men without delay. [33] The British 
government undertook the financial responsibility de- 
manded, " since a fatal expenditure of time would 
result from international negotiations on the point " ; 
but to have given, alone, the first assurance would have 
added to the complications, and Lord Salisbury " wished 
to draw a sharp distinction between immediate operations 
which may be still in time to save the legations, and 
any ulterior operations which may be undertaken. "[34] 

§ 8. Much time — a fortnight — had been lost, since 
without the Japanese reinforcements a forward movement 
was impossible. Some of these came in by the end of 
July, and some British and American reinforcements, and 
the matter was taken into consideration. Opinions were 
still divided, but there was now more inclination to take 
risks. As we have seen, Lord Salisbury had been steadily 
urging an advance, and his eagerness was reflected in the 
British commanders at Tientsin. However cautious the 
American government might have been, the receipt on 
July 20th of Mr. Conger's telegram changed its attitude — 
" This despatch . . . presented a situation which plainly 
called for the urgency of a relief expedition rather than 
for perfection of preparation ; it was made the basis of 
urgent pressure for an immediate movement upon Peking, 
without waiting for the accumulation of the large force 
previously proposed. "[35] Instructions in this sense 
were sent to General Chaffee, who arrived at Tientsin on 
July 30th. He reported that he did not believe the envoys 
could be relieved without a fight, and that the allied forces 
available for battle did not then exceed 14,000 men [36] ; 
but his arrival, with orders to assume the aggressive, sup- 
ported the British commanders in their wish to advance, 

[32] Mr. Whitehead to Lord Salisbury, July 5th, ibid., p. 100. 

[33] Same to same, July Cth, ibid., p. 102. 

[34] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Whitehead, July 6th, ibid., p. 102. 

[35] Report of U!S. Secretary of War (Mr. £lihu Root), 1900, p. 18. 
Mr. Conger's telegram was not, however, universally treated as authentic. 
On July 28th its Washington correspondent telegraphed to the New York 
World — l<r The Conger despatch known to be a forgery. The Chinese 
know the code and concocted the answer." 

[36] Gen. Chaffee to Adjutant General, July 31st, 1900, Report ubi 


and overcame the reluctance of the Russian and Japanese 
generals, who, commanding two-thirds of the available 
troops, naturally exercised a predominating influence. [37] 
§ 9. A first conference was held on July 27th, before 
General Chaffee's arrival, the senior American officer, 
Colonel Daggett, representing him. It was decided that 
preparations for a move should be made, but that the 
date should be left open. A second conference was held 
on August 1st, and a third on August 3rd, when it was 
decided to advance on the 4th ; but " as no officer, what- 
ever his rank, could give orders to officers of any other 
army, it was decided that a conference of commanders 
should be held every evening, or when necessary, to 
determine the movement of the following day or days, 
and that a majority should rule. "[38] The troops moved 
out of Tientsin at 3 p.m. on August 4th, and went into 
bivouac four miles away ; the march was to follow the 
river, the Russians and French forming the right wing 
and operating on the left (east) bank, and the Japanese, 
British and Americans as left wing on the right (west) 
bank. The field force was : 

Japanese (Marshal Yamaguchi) 
Russians (General Linieviteh) 
British (General Gaselee) 
Americans (General Chaffee) 
French (General Frey) 
Austrian . . . 

Italian .... 








These are the numbers reported by the respective 
commanders, making a total of 18,800 [39] ; but ** these 
figures are too large ; the effective force probably did not 
exceed 16,000 men. "[40] The Americans actually started 
2500 strong. [41] Of the British, only the artillery and 
four companies of infantry were English, the rest being 
Indian troops. Of the French the greater part were 
Annamese tirailleurs. The Italians and Austrians were 
present in order that the flag might be represented. The 

[37] Daggett, " China Relief Expedition," p. 58. 
[38] Ibid., p. 55. 

[39] Gen. Chaffee to Adjutant General, Sept. 1st, 1900, Report of Sec. 
War, 1900, p. 63. 

T40] Daggett, op. cit., p. 57. 

[41] Ibid. ; Report of Sec. War, 1900, p. 19. 


absence of any Germans, even a similar " token " force, 
was the subject of much comment [42] ; the French com- 
mander reported that " a small force of Germans, Austrians 
and Italians were present with the column to co-operate 
in the capture of Peking " [43] ; but the Germans were, 
in fact, not represented. 

§ 10. The decision to make an immediate advance 
brought about several results. Since the beginning of the 
troubles the Russians had been consolidating their hold on 
Manchuria, and at the end of June were in a position to 
give shelter to missionaries in mid-Manchuria [44] ; after 
the slaughter of Blagovestchensk, July 14th, the move- 
ment became more pronounced. At the end of July they 
came into conflict with Chinese troops near Tashihkiao, 
the railway junction for Newchwang ; the Chinese on the 
eastern side were driven back, but " to the northward near 
Kaipinghien " 5000 Russians were surrounded by 15,000 
Chinese, and the situation was critical. [45] After the 
allied decision the Chinese troops on August 4th attacked 
the port of Yingkow (Newchwang) which was defended by 
Russian troops, and " it took a whole day's fighting before 
they were driven off " ; the crews of two Japanese gun- 
boats were on shore aiding in the defence ; the Russian 
flag was then raised over the custom house, the native 
city, and the forts. [46] Elsewhere also, where there were 
only defenceless missionaries to encounter, the response 
to the call to arms was prompt. At Tatung, on the 
Yangtze, there were riots ; and near Swatow seven English 
and American mission chapels were destroyed, six of them 
between August 5th and 12th. [47] In Szechwan the 
viceroy was reported to have received a new order to 
exterminate all foreigners, but instead he ordered them to 
leave for their own safety. All the accessible residents, 
missionaries, customs and consular staffs, about a hundred 
in all, left Chungking, except the French consul, M. Bons 

[42] Cf. H. C. Thomson, " China and the Powers," p. 8G. 

[43] Gen. Frey to M. de Lanessan, Aug. 9th, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 117. 

[44] Cf. chap, ix, § 18. 

[45] Newchwang tel. to Japanese papers, Tokyo, Aug. 3rd, cited in 
North-China Herald, Aug. 15th, 1900. 

[46] Tel. Chefoo, Aug. 9th, ibid. Cf. chap, xi, § 38. 

[47] Tel. Hongkong, Aug. 13th, ibid. ; consul Hurst to Lord Salisbury, 
Aug. 29th, 1900, China, No. 5, 1900, p, 9. 


d'Anty, and three unofficial Englishmen ; and the viceroy 
was then as anxious for their return, guaranteeing their 
safety. [48] 

§ 11. A second result was another short rest for the 
besieged legations from the incessant shot and shell fire. 
On the last days of July and on August 1st repeated 
tetters arrived from " Prince Ching and others," urging 
the departure of the envoys to Tientsin, one even going so 
far as to promise protection to the Chinese converts who 
must be left behind ; all this time, daily and nightly until 
the morning of August 3rd " rifle shot without interrup- 
tion," and shell fire at times during the day. On August 
2nd the Tsungli Yamen sent in several intercepted letters, 
giving much misleading information, but conveying one 
undoubted fact — that, at the dates of writing, the relieving 
force had not yet started. On August 3rd, " day and night 
calm ; probably the Chinese wish to inspire confidence 
so that we may decide on going to Tientsin." A letter 
from " Prince Ching and others " insisted on the envoys' 
departure, and announced that Junglu had been charged 
with the arrangements. Sniping was renewed on the 
evening of August 4th. [49] A more probable explanation 
of the cessation of fire on the 3rd is that troops were with- 
drawn from the firing line in Peking to resist the advance 
of the relief force. Among these were Tung Fu-siang's 
Kansu men ; and Li Ping-heng was sent to take supreme 
command of the forces in the field. [50] 

§ 12. The allied field force, with a heterogeneous 
variety of transport, left its bivouacs on August 5th. On 
the right bank the Japanese in advance started at 1 a.m. 
and struck the Chinese defences in front of Pehtsang at 
4 a.m., and soon forced them. The whole left wing then 
attacked Pehtsang and, after some stubborn fighting, 
gained possession of it at noon ; the right wing (Russians 
and French) on the left bank were impeded by difficult 

[48] Corresp. Ichang, Aug. 5th ; tel. Chungking, Aug. 7th, 12th ; 
North-China Herald, Aug. 15th, 1900. 

[49] M. Pichon, Report, sub July 28- Aug. 4th, Doc. Dip., 1900, pp. 219 
seq. Sniping is the rendering given for " une fusillade peu nourrie, 
presque continuelle." 

[50] " Li Ping-heng has gone to the front to rally the troops and check 
the foreigners' advance. He has impeached Junglu, but the Old Buddha 
suppressed the memorial. " — Chingshan, Diary, Aug. 3rd, p. 296. 


ground, and, at the final assault, were only in a position 
to threaten the Chinese defences. The Chinese fled in some 
disorder ; their commander, Li Ping-heng, was reported 
to have been wounded. The next day, August 6th, the 
advance was continued, the British and Americans and a 
part of the Japanese crossing to the left bank, the entire 
right wing following the railway ; the Chinese were struck 
at Yangtsun and, by 2.30 p.m., were put to rout, the brunt 
of the battle being borne by the Americans and British. 
After the defeat the viceroy, Yulu, committed suicide at 
Tsaitsun.[51] On August 7th the troops rested at Yang- 
tsun, and a conference of the generals was held, at which it 
was decided to continue the advance to Tungchow, and to 
hold the next conference there. On the 8th the com- 
bined force crossed to the right bank and advanced ; 
the Japanese, being the most numerous and most fully 
equipped, took the lead, followed in turn by the Russians, 
British and Americans. The Japanese started at 4 a.m.", 
and, with the whole force strung in a single column, the 
Americans did not start until 7 a.m. ; but, by evening, 
all were concentrated at Tsaitsun ; on the 9th at Hosiwu ; 
on the 10th at Matow ; on the 11th at Changkiawan ; and 
on the 12th at Tungchow. Except from the burning 
sun and stinging dust, the only enemy impeding the 
advance was met between Changkiawan and Tungchow, 
the latter city being occupied at 4.30 a.m. on the 12th. [52] 
§ 13. At this stage Li Hung-chang resumed his activity. 
He had already been putting out feelers at Shanghai. 
There, on July 24th, he had undertaken to suppress the 
" Boxers and rebellious troops," and to escort the envoys 
in safety to Tientsin, but had explicitly disclaimed any 
responsibility for the other foreigners, " the women and 
children, the preachers and teachers, customs people 
and guards " ; no reference was. made on either side to 
the three thousand converts protected by the legation 

[51] " The foreigners are getting nearer and nearer. Yulu shot him- 
self with a revolver on the 6th at Tsaitsun. He had taken refuge in a 
coffin shop, of all ill-omened places ! His troops had been utterly routed 
thrice, atPehtsang, Yangtsun and Tsaitsun." — Chingshan, Diary. Aug. 12th, 
p. 297. 

[52] Gen. Chaffee to Adjutant General, Sept. 1st, Report Sec. War, 
1900, p. 63 ; Daggett, " China Relief Expedition,'' p. 58 ; Savage-Landor, 
M China and the Allies." i, pp. 339 seq. ; North-China Herald, Aug. 22nd, 


guards. [53] Being informed that no arrangement was 
possible without free communication with the envoys, he 
asked on July 31st — " if free communication is established 
between envoys and their governments, will America 
arrange that allies will not advance on Peking pending 
negotiations ? " — firing on the legations had then already 
been resumed. He was informed in reply that it was not 
thought expedient to submit his proposition to the other 
powers ; and being so informed he laid great stress on the 
continuance of the negotiations at Peking for sending the 
envoys to Tientsin. [54] On August 5th was received a 
message from Mr. Conger, dated July 21st -'* enough 
provisions, little ammunition, hope speedy relief " [55] ; 
and on the 8th Sheng Hsiian-hwai informed the consuls that 
" the viceroys were expecting an edict degrading them and 
ordering them to commit suicide."[56] The allied advance 
began on August 4th, and on the 6th the Chinese were 
decisively defeated at Yangtsun and the viceroy, Yulu, 
committed suicide. An imperial decree of August 7th 
appointed Li Hung-chang plenipotentiary to conduct 
negotiations with the powers by cable [57] ; but the 
envoys warned the powers that arresting the advance of 
the relieving force would entail a general massacre. [58] 
On the arrival of the force at Tungchow on August 12th, 
Li Hung-chang tried to stop them there, pointing out to 
the powers that its entrance into Peking would cause great 
disaster to the imperial dynasty ; but he was informed 
that no negotiations would be entered into until the lega- 
tions were put in a position to go to Tientsin under the 
protection of. an adequate foreign escort.[59] The force 
had already entered Peking two days before the date of 
this exchange of views. 

[53] Consul Goodnow to State Dept., Aug. 2nd, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, 
p. 262. 

[54] Ibid. 

[55] Same to bime, A/ g. 5th, ibid., p. 264. 

[56] Ibid., Ami 8th, ibid., p. 265. 

[57] North-China Herald, Aug. 15th, 1900 ; Tsungli Yamen to Mr. 
Conger, Aug. 7th, W u Ting-fang to State Dept., Aug. 12th, U.S. For. 
Rel., 1900, pp. 187, 285 ; M. Pichon to M. Delcasse, Aug. 9th, Doc. Dip., 
1900, p. 119; Tsungli Yamen to Sir C. MacDonald, Aug. 8th, China, 
No. 4. 1900, p. 51. 

[58] M. Pichon, ubi sup. 

[59] M. Paul Cambon to M. Delcasse, Aug. 16th, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 130. 


§ 14. There was naturally much agitation in the whole 
empire. Around Tientsin, and between that city and 
Taku, there was seen, after the departure of the relief 
force, much movement of disorganised soldiery and 
Boxers, estimated to number between 15,000 and 25,000, 
but they did not come to close quarters. [60] At Shanghai 
and along the Yangtze much apprehension was felt, and 
the British authorities ordered up from Hongkong a force 
of 3000 Indian troops ; it was stated that the viceroy 
and local authorities were informed and made no objec- 
tion, [61] but they did, in fact, object by a protest addressed 
to the American government, and they refused to sanction 
the landing, on the ground that they were giving effective 
protection to the port. [62] The American government 
replied to the protest that, "if we consider it necessary 
for the protection of our citizens at Shanghai to land troops 
there, we should do so, as we have done at Taku, and we 
cannot question the right of any other power ... to do 
the same." American patience was by this time ex- 
hausted by the Chinese envoy's utterances, so much at 
variance with the plain facts now becoming known, and 
he was further informed that, if this was to be regarded as 
'* an appeal for our good offices " to restrain the other 
powers, "it is impossible that we should take any step in 
that direction so long as the Chinese government has not 
complied with the requirements of the president's letter 
of July 23rd."[63] This weakened the position of the 
viceroys, and when the consuls renewed their representa- 
tions, [64] they gave way. The Indian troops, which had 
remained outside Wusung since August 12th, were landed 
at Shanghai on the 17th. [65] The other powers welcomed 
the protection given, but were not inclined to leave the 
duty of guarding Shanghai and the Yangtze to any one 

[60] Tel. Chefoo, Aug. 9th, North-China Herald, Aug. 15th, 1900. 

[61] Consul de Bezaure to M. Delcasse", Aug. 8th, Doc. Dip., 1900, 
p. 115. 

[62] Tel. Li Hung-chang, Liu Kun-yi, Chang Chih-tung and Sheng 
Hsiian-kwai to Wu Ting-fang, Aug. 10th, communicated Aug. 11th, U.S. 
For. Rel., 1900, p. 284. 

[63] State Dept. to Wu Ting-fang, Aug. 11th, ibid., p. 285. Cf. 
chap, ix, § 24. 

[64] Consul de Bezaure to M. Delcasse, Aug. 15th, Doc. Dip., 1900, 
p. 127. 

[65] North-China Herald, Aug. 22nd, 1900. 

Ill— 18 


power, even to England [66] ; and on the 18th the French 
landed 100 sailors, and 250 Annamese tirailleurs the next 
week. [67] § These were followed, as soon as they could be 
sent, by detachments of troops of all the nations involved. 
§ 15. As soon as the envoys learned that the relieving 
force had started, it seemed to them " very strange that 
no attempt had been made [at Peking] to stop its progress 
by negotiation ; an occupation of the city and the enforced 
flight of the court seemed worth almost any effort to 
avert. "[68] In fact the attempt was made, outside 
Peking, though it was made late and without the cognisance 
of the envoys. During the advance the envoys were in 
touch with the Chinese in three ways — they were fired on 
continually, with a varying degree of intensity, by the 
Chinese troops ; the correspondence with ." Prince Ching 
and others " was continued ; and they received com- 
munications from the Tsungli Yamen, sent in proper 
form. [69] In both series of correspondence the with- 
drawal to Tientsin was urged as late as August 4th, the 
day on which constant firing was resumed ; and the 
question of provisioning the legations for the support of 
the Chinese therein was discussed up to August 12th. 
On that day, the day on which the relieving force entered 
Tungchow, " Prince Ching and others " wrote proposing 
a " preliminary cessation of hostilities," and asking for 
a conference at the British legation ; but, before the 
hour designated, 11 a.m. of the 13th, in another letter the 
charge was brought that the envoys showed implacable 
hostility from the fact that, on the preceding night, 
twenty-seven Chinese soldiers had been killed or wounded 
by the fire of the legation guards, and ct the princes and 
ministers all have important official engagements and. 
cannot proceed to the legation." In a later letter of tho 
same day six telegrams were sent in, addressed to four 
legations; and in a third the question of provisioning was 
postponed for two or three days " until the posts on 

[66] M, Delcasse to M. de Bezaure, Aug. 16th, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 128. 

[67] M. de Bezaure to M. Delcasse, Aug. 17th, ibid., p. 130 ; North- 
China Herald, Aug. 22nd, 1900. 

[68] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 20th. China, No. 4-, 
1900, p. 36. 

[69] For the whole correspondence in both forms, cf. China, No. 4-. 
1900, pp. 37 seq. ; U.S. For. Rel., 1900, pp, 177 seq. 


each side are at peace." On August 10th, two days 
before the occupation of Tungchow, the war party in 
the Chinese administration had gained the upper hand, 
and had secured the execution of Lishan, Lienyuen and 
Hsu Yung-yi, three friends of the foreigners [70] ; whether 
the overture of August 12th represented a revival of 
the hopes of the peace party, or was a politic move to 
show the conciliatory attitude of the administration, cannot 
be known ; but it was soon brought to nothing, and the 
night of August 13th-14th was marked by the most furious 
and persistent assaults that the legations had experienced. 
§ 16. When the relieving force started from Tientsin, 
the Russian and Japanese commanders explained their 
change of opinion by a statement that they had heard from 
their secret service that the Chinese troops between them 
and Peking had instructions to make a show of resistance, 
but no effective opposition, to the advance of the allies, 
and that it was intended to propose peace after a simulated 
defence at Tungchow. [71] Something, evidently, was 
to happen at or after Tungchow. On occupying that city 
on August 12th the Japanese pushed out an advanced 
force six-and-a-half miles (half-way) towards Peking. At 
a conference of commanders it was decided that the next 
day, 13th, should be devoted to reconnaissance ; the 
Japanese and Russians were to reconnoitre on the right or 
northern side of the canal, the Russians along the canal 
and paved road, the Japanese further to the right ; the 
Americans and British on the left or southern side of the 
canal, the Americans along the canal, the British further 
to the left. On the 14th all the troops were to be con- 
centrated on the advanced line held by the Japanese, and 
a later conference was to decide what method of attack 
on Peking should be adopted. On the 13th the American 
and British reconnoitring was duly done, and the Japanese 
reconnoitred their front and also the front which properly 
belonged to the Russians ; all three pushed on to within 
five or six miles of Peking. 

[70] The Old Buddha was angry when she heard of the decapitation, 
without her express consent, of two Manchu nobles, Lishan being', more- 
over, an old friend of Junglu ; the Chinese, Hsu Yung-yi, was eighty years 
old, and as he went to his death exclaimed " the power of the usurper 
[Prince Twan] is short-lived." — Chingshan, Diary, Aug. 10th, p. 296. 

[71] Gen. Frey to M. de Lanessan, Aug. 9th, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 117. 


§ 17. The Russian commander on August 12th pro- 
posed that the forces should rest on the 13th : he could not 
move ; his men must have rest. The others could not 
agree, and the proposal to devote the day to reconnoitring 
was a compromise. The Russian troops remained in 
camp at Tungchow and marched out towards evening of 
the 13th. About 9 p.m. heavy firing was heard from the 
north-west, continuing through the night, and the next 
day this • was ascertained to have been the sound of a • 
Russian attack on the Tungpien Gate. At daybreak of 
the 14th General Chaffee was informed by a Japanese staff 
officer that the Russians " were not on the opposite side 
of the canal," on which they were supposed to be ; and, 
between 5 and 6 a.m., a French officer leading 200 tirail- 
leurs informed an American officer that he was marching 
to join the Russians in front of the Americans, where the 
Russians were supposed not to be. Learning at 10 a.m. 
that Russian troops were engaged on his right, and hearing 
the Japanese in action further to the right, General Chaffee 
ordered his troops to advance beyond the reconnoitring 
line, and about noon he found the Russians in occupation 
of the Tungpien Gate, but their " artillery and troops were 
in great confusion in the passage, the artillery facing in 
both directions." Some of his own American troops were 
also there, and, boldly climbing the wall of the Tartar 
city, and covered by troops and artillery below, they swept 
the top of the wall and, by 3 p.m., were abreast of the 
American legation. Their flag was the first actually on 
the wall. [72] The Japanese meantime were attacking 

[72] The course of events is graphically described in Gen. Chafiee to 
Adjutant General, Sept. 1st, U.S. For. Rel., 1900, p. 66; Daggett, "China 
Relief Expedition," p. 75. See also Putnam Weale, " Indiscreet Letters," 
p. 209. 

An explanation of the Russian action is given in Savage-Landor, 
" China and the Allies," ii, p. 173, but it is not very convincing. 

A Chinese account of the campaign for the relief of the legations will 
be of interest. 

" We have repeatedly notified in our columns that our forces have been 
engaged twenty or thirty times with the foreign troops about Peking and 
Tientsin and have gained repeated victories. This news is reliable. A 
foreign telegram states that the allied troops at Yangtsun lost several 
thousands by drowning, owing to the strategy of Li Ping-heng, who 
dammed back the water and then let it go. We have received a further 
telegram from our Shanghai correspondent — ' On August 7th the foreign 
troops lost over 20,000 men by drowning, and 8000 to 9000 by death in 
battle with our troops. The foreign troops are dispirited and the foreign 


the Chihwa Gate, the point indicated by their line of 
advance ; but, meeting with fierce opposition, they were 
the last to enter Peking. 

§ 18. The British troops carried out' their reconnais- 
sance on the left, but, strictly adhering to the plan adopted, 
the main body remained at Tungchow ; it thus happened 
that the American left was not covered until noon of 
August 14th. Learning at midnight closing the 13th that 
the Russians were engaged at the Tungpien Gate, General 
Gaselee marched out at 2 a.m. of the 14th. The line 
indicated to him by the plan led him to the Shakwo Gate, 
in the middle of the eastern side of the Chinese city. He 
arrived there with trifling opposition, and entered the 
gate unopposed. The British envoy, Sir C. MacDonald, 
himself an old soldier, had had the forethought to send out 
a cipher letter indicating to General Gaselee the water gate, 
south of the British legation, as the easiest way of entering 
the Tartar city. No time, therefore, was lost, beyond the 
delay dictated by military precaution, and the British 
had the honour of being the first to enter the Tartar city, 
and the first to enter the beleaguered legations, which 
they did at 3 p.m. The Americans, also entering by the 
water gate, soon followed. 

§ 19. The scene of the relief of the Peking legations, 
unexampled since the relief of the residency at Lucknow, 
has been elsewhere described [73] ; but no one of the 

powers are willing to seek peace. They proposed that 2000 American 
troops, unarmed, should advance and camp nine miles from Peking ; the 
Chinese should then escort the foreign envoys from the capital to the 
American camp, and they could then be taken to Tientsin. Hereafter if 
they want war, China will fight ; if they want peace, they can have it, 
but it must be in accordance with No. 25 of China's regulations.' . . . 
Yesterday a foreign telegram stated that the foreign troops had entered 
Peking. We can only suppose that, as the general suffering has been 
great, China had agreed that a limited number of foreign troops should 
enter Peking to protect their envoys. We also hear that, although our 
troops have gained great victories, it has been impossible to avoid alarming 
the court. To guard against contingencies the emperor and empress 
dowager consented to leave the capital to go to the imperial hunting lodge 
at Wutaishan in northern Shansi and stay there until peace has been 
restored. We shall be pleased to publish further good news as it is received." 
— Canton Chungsaipao, Aug. 22nd, cited in North-China Herald, Sept. 
19th, 1900. 

[73] M. Pichon, Report, Doc. Dip., 1900, p. 227; Smith, " Convul- 
sion," ii, p, 461 ; Putnam Weale, " Indiscreet Letters," p. 204 ; Savage- 
Landor, " China and the Allies," ii. p. 186 ; H. C. Thomson, " China and 
the Powers," p. 99. 


narratives is more graphic than that given in some un- 
published MS. notes in the author's possession. [74] 

" On the night before the troops arrived I was stationed in the 
Suwang Fu. . . . Suddenly one of the most furious rifle attacks 
that we ever sustained commenced. From all along the Chinese 
lines the firing was incessant. Lead was simply poured into us. . . . 
We thought that at last the Chinese were preparing to assault, 
so, to daunt them if possible, we four chaps began to cheer. For 
the moment, the fire slackened. The Japanese on our left then 
began cheering and blowing their bugle for ' the charge,' and the 
Italians on the extreme left began cheering and rattling stones in 
kerosene oil tins. The Chinese attack was renewed with even 
increased vigour. . . .Gradually the fire slackened off. ... It 
rained all the time and it thundered too ; we were wet through 
and the water in the trench was over our ankles. . . . Suddenly 
Mr. Sugi called out — ' Listen ! Do you hear that ? Do you hear 
the machine-gun working outside the Hatamen ? The relief force is 
outside the city ! ' We stood there listening, we laughed, we joked. 
. . . About nine o'clock our relief picket came over, and we went 
back to the legation for breakfast and rest. There we heard that 
the Mongol Market position had been equally vigorously attacked. 
. . . News now began to come in. The foreign troops were cer- 
tainly outside. News too came from the Fu that the Chinese had 
quietly been slipping away. . . . Tiffin passed off with cheerfulness ; 
we were all in a state of suppressed excitement and expectation. 
Afterwards we returned to picket in the Mongol Market. . . . 
Soon after Konovaloff rushed in with a shout — ' The relief force is 
in ! The Sikhs are in the legation ! Listen to the shouting ! ' Such 
of us as could leave their post ran at once into the legation. What 
a scene there was ! Men, women and children, every one out on the 
lawn, cheering, yelling, crying, mad with excitement and delight ; 
and there coming in, line after line, waving their turbans and cheer- 
ing, real, live, big, burly Indian troops, dripping with perspiration, 
Covered with dust, and thoroughly tired. I rushed up to the first 
one I saw ; I clapped him on the back ; I shook his hand ; I yelled, 
I cheered. My pent-up feelings had to be relieved in some way. 
I, who had thought I should never come out of this awful siege alive, 
could now realise and see that I was at last saved ! " 

§ 20. The strain was over, and the sense of relief found 
expression in the exuberance of joy. There was not one 
moment in the eight weeks or siege when any but the 
most optimistic thought that they could possibly win 
through the constant attacks by unnumbered thousands 
of armed Chinese, who " simply poured lead " in among 
them. The escape of the besieged was held to be a 

[74] Personal narrative of Mr. J. H. Maooun,- of the customs service, 
a volunteer through the siege. 


miracle, [75] and their sufferings were great. A thousand 
foreigners, accustomed to great comfort, were shut in under 
the hot summer sun, and during the greater part of the 
time subsisted on rice and a scanty ration of horse-flesh ; 
and three thousand Chinese converts had only rice, and, 
towards the end of the siege, a reduced ration of that. 
But all the discomfort and deprivation were as nothing 
compared with the actual peril experienced, and the far 
greater peril in apprehension of which they passed their 
days and nights. [76] The Chinese had unlimited supplies 
of ammunition ; it was estimated that from one-and-a-half 
to two million bullets were fired at the legations ; and by 
careful count that the shell finding their mark in the 
enceinte numbered about 2,900. The foreign guards, on 
the other hand, were scantily supplied ; some detachments 
had less than one hundred rounds per rifle and none had 
over three hundred, apart from the supply for the four 
machine-guns ; but some small quantities were bought 
towards the end of the siege from the Chinese soldiers 
engaged in the attack. [77] The volunteers were armed 
some with reserve rifles of the American legation, others 
with any rifle or sporting gun available, and their ammuni- 
tion was what was left from the shooting season then 
ended. With such a difference in equipment, it is mar- 
vellous that all were not killed ; as it was the casualties 
among the fighting men were sufficiently heavy. 

§ 21. In considering the following table of casualties, 
it is to be noted that the British marines constituted the 
reserve, holding their own legation in which were sheltered 

. [75] " Should any one ask what is the evidence of the Providence which 
watches over the affairs of men, the compendious answer might well be 
- — ' The Siege in Peking.' " Then follows a list of ten distinct miracles — 
" In all these things we see the Hand of God in the Siege of Peking." - 
—Smith, " Convulsion," ii, pp. 508-51 G. 

[76] " I have lost everything and possess only two summer suits — 
it is at times maddening to think of all the precious ("to me) treasures I 
had to abandon and which the flames have since completely destroyed ! 
Man eventually departs naked, of course, but this nudity is a bit too 
previous, confound it ! And yet what I and the others have to be grateful 
for — health preserved, life continued and all the horrors of a general 
massacre escaped : thank God ! " — R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Aug. 18th, 

[77] Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 514. The Americans and French had 
300 rounds per head, the Italians 90, the Russians 65, and the Germans 
40 ; but means w^e found to reload some during the, siege. — Report of 
Lieut. General commanding the U.S. Army, 1901, iv, pp. 456, 459. 



CH. X 

the entire non-combatant foreign community, and, for 
trench duty, had ordinarily only the north and west fronts 
of that legation to hold ; the Russians held their own 
legation, exposed to attack on two sides, and supported 
the Americans ; - the Americans held their legation and 
the portion abreast of it of the wall of the Tartar city ; 
the Germans held their own legation, which was strongly 
attacked ; the Austrians supported 45 of the French 
in holding the French legation, a most dangerous salient 
and exposed to constant attacks and mining ; and the 
Japanese, supported by 30 Italians and by the greater 
part of the volunteers, held the exposed and extended 
Suwang Fu. The Pehtang was held by 43 French and 
Italian marines and some armed converts. 

Casualties during Siege of the Legations 

Combatants . 


Guard . 















y 44 - 



















Among the non-combatant foreigners the casualties 
during the siege were very few, except that six infants 
succumbed to the privations ; but the nervous strain had 
been great and the seeds* of disease were planted in 
many [78] ; and not a few, months after the siege was 
raised, died in their own home land, as truly killed by 
the siege as if they had died during its course. 

§ 22. The British troops occupied the defences through 
the night of August 14th-15th, but, after consultation 
with the American envoy, General Chaffee withdrew the 

[78] " Pichon [French envoy] is down with typhoid, another ' after the 
siege' case."--R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Oct. 19th, 1900. 


American troops outside the Tartar city, still holding, 
however, the Tsienmen Gate. 'Again after consultation 
with the envoy, he set to work to clear the Chinese troops 
from the Imperial city, from which they still threatened 
the legations. He swept the wall clear, and, being then 
fired on from the inner gates of the city, he forced in suc- 
cession the first, second and third gates leading into the 
Forbidden City — the imperial palace. At the fourth gate 
his advance was stayed. In his official report he gives 
no specific reason, only saying that "ata conference that 
afternoon it was decided not to occupy the imperial city " ; 
and he withdrew his troops. The conference was held 
after the withdrawal ; and the only authority who gives 
a reason for staying the advance, ascribed it to the fact 
that " the Russian general had sent one of his aides to 
General Chaffee with a message," which caused the latter 
to"" receive the messenger in a manner and with words not 
usually employed by gentlemen in dealing with gentle- 
men."^] If the message was such as to provoke an 
outbreak of language and to cause the American com- 
mander to stay his troops when on the point of forcing the 
last gate leading to the very heart of the Chinese Holy of 
Holies, it was presumably one in harmony with another 
quotation — " ' Toujours cette Confusion, toujours pas 
d'ordres,' the French officers angrily commented, and in a 
few words they told me rapidly how from the very start at 
Tientsin it had been like this, each column racing against 
the others, whilst they openly pretended to co-operate. "[80] 
The American troops withdrew, obedient to orders, but 
sulky and sullen — " compelled to march away (barring 
the swearing) like so many lambs."[81] The decision 
taken by the commanders on the 15th not to occupy the 
Forbidden City " was not concurred in by the envoys in a 
conference held by them the next day ; in their opinion the 
imperial city should be occupied." The American troops 
returned, therefore, and continued to guard the entrance 
up to the limit of their previous advance.[82] Meantime, 

[79] Savage-Landor, op. cit., ii, p. 209. 

[80] Putnam Weale, " Indiscreet Letters," p. 222, relating to this 
precise hour. 

[811 Savage-Landor, op. cit., ii, p. 211. 

[82] Gen. Chaffee to Adjutant General, Sept. 1st, Report Sec. War, 
1900, p. 69 ; Daggett, " China Relief Expedition," pp. 95 seq. 


on the 15th, in the eastern and north-eastern quarters of 
the Tartar city the Russians and Japanese were making 
their way against strong opposition, their course marked 
1 by a heavy cloud of smoke which now rose blacker and 
blacker, until it spread like a pall on the bright sky . . . 
they were burning and sacking, and a huge conflagration 
had been started."[83] 

§ 23. In the Pehtang was a crowd of Chinese converts, 
some 3000 in number ; for defence it had 43 marines, 
and about 500 of the timid Chinese, turned into lions for 
the nonce, were armed with improvised spears, a few 
having rifles which were taken from dead assailants. # The 
assaults were even more furious than on the legations, 
over 2400 shell being noted as fired within the enclosure, 
and mining was an even greater danger ; and the priva- 
tions were greater. Towards the end of the siege, from 
August 1st the daily ration, except for the marines, was 
only five ounces of food, and from the 8th only three 
ounces. Of its 43 marine defenders 11 were killed and 
12 wounded ; and during the two months over 400 of their 
dead Chinese were buried in the garden of the cathedral. 
Well might the heroic chief of the mission, Mgr. Favier, 
ejaculate — " C'est un miracle du ciel ! " — and, sorrowing 
over the work of centuries undone, lament that " it is 
almost a pity that we were not all massacred ; we should 
have died martyrs." At last relief came, but not until 
two days after the relief of the legations. On the morning 
of August 16th two forces converged on the cathedral ; 
the Japanese coming from the north ; and from the west 
a mixed force under General Frey, consisting of 400 each 
of French, British and Russian troops. The two forces 
arrived on the scene nearly simultaneously, but the 
Japanese had the honour of being the first to overcome 
opposition and force their way in, soon followed from the 
west by a body of French troops ; and the Pehtang siege 
was raised. [84] 

§ 24. The court fled. This was not a long prepared 
measure designed to continue the war, but a hasty action 
inspired by actual fear. Some days before, consequent on 

[83] Putnam Weale, op. cit., p. 218. 

[84] Savage- Landor, op. cit., pp. 227 seq. ; M. Pichon, Report, Doc. 
Dip., 1900, p. 22?. 


the defeats at Pehtsang and Yangtsun, there had been a 
plan to withdraw the court to Jehol, as had been done in 
1860 ; but Junglu advised the empress dowager to remain 
in Peking, even if the allies should succeed in entering the 
city. [85] On August 12th all was in confusion, Junglu 
being received in audience eight times, and Prince Twan 
five times ; "the Old Buddha said she would commit 
suicide and make the emperor do the same, rather than 
leave the capital ; Junglu besought her to take his advice, 
which was to remain in Peking and order the decapitation 
of Prince Twan and his followers, thus proving her innocence 
to the world. "[86] The empress dowager's cards were 
good ; she had only to keep her place at the table and play 
her hand, and she would still have been in the game. The 
few, the very few, statesmen nmong the Manchus, with 
the resolute Junglu and the irresolute Prince Ching at their 
head, would have rallied to the side of their sovereigns ; 
the viceroys had already let it be known that their adhesion 
to the plans of the foreign powers was dependent on an 
assurance of the safety of their sovereigns, and the pro- 
vinces would have supported the viceroys ; and the 
foreign powers, in their relief at finding their accredited 
envoys still alive, would certainly have considered expedi- 
ency first, would have admitted the validity of the maxim 
— 4 ' the king can do no wrong ' ' — and would have held 
the Manchu nobles and ministers alone accountable. 
But, outside* the domain of diplomacy, no oriental could 
be expected to put up a game of bluff, none could doubt 
that the foreigner's first act would be to take the life of 
every Manchu, high or low, on whom he could lay his 
hands. The empress dowager's conscience was not clear, 
and she was entirely under the dominance of the leaders 
of the anti-foreign JBoxer movement ; and the court 

§ 25. At 4 p.m. on August 14th Duke Lan and Fangyi 
rushed into the presence of the Old Buddha and informed 
her that the foreign troops were in ; Kangyi said — " Your 
Majesty must escape at once, or they will murder you." 
Towards midnight a Grand Council [87] was held, attended 

[85] Chingshan, Diary, Aug. 9th, p. 296. 
[86] Ibid., Aug. 12th, p. 297. 
[87] Cf. chap, viii 5 28 


only by Kangyi, Chao Shu-kiao and Wang Wen-shao ; 
other ministers were otherwise engaged. The last named 
was excused on the ground of his advanced age ; and, 
accompanied only by the first two and by the beilehs 
Pulun and Puchun, at 4 a.m. the emperor and the empress 
dowager secretly left the palace in a common cart, dis- 
guised in the clothes of Chinese peasants, and the empress 
with her hair dressed, for the first time in her life, in 
Chinese style. Before leaving the palace the empress 
dowager, mistress of the situation to the last, ordered the 
emperor's 'favorite concubine to be thrown down a well 
and drowned. The imperial refugees, bedraggled and 
dust-grimed, arrived at the Summer Palace at Yuenming- 
yuen at 8 a.m., and were there joined by four princes 
(Twan, Ching, Na and Su), several dukes, and some court 
officials. Thence they were escorted by a body of troops 
to Kalgan ; and from there they proceeded to Sianfu in 
Shensi, where the court and administration of the empire 
were established. [88] 

§ 26. Peking was humbled in the dust and suffered 
as Asiatic cities have always suffered when taken by 
assault by Asiatic armies — but now the invading forces 
were the armies of the Western powers. Strong men 
fled ; those not so strong fled if they could find the means 
of transport, but that was scanty ; many of the Manchu 
nobility and c juntless thousands of women put an end to 
their lives [89] ; many thousands of men were killed in 
a wild orgy of slaughter [90] ; and the survivors who 

[88] For the flight, cf. Chingshan, Diary, Aug. 14-15, pp. 297 seq. 
Sianfu had once, fourteen centuries before, been the capital of the empire, 
and there, as at Mukden, were maintained simulacra of ministries, now 
recalled to life. Cf. the author's " Trade and Administration of China," 
pp. 211, 226. 

[89] " I have just heard of the death of my old friend, Hsu Tung, 
the Imperial Tutor and Grand Secretary ; he has hanged himself in his 
house and eighteen of his womenfolk have followed his example. Alas ! 
Alas I From all sides I heard the same piteous story ; the proudest of the 
Manchus have come to the same miserable end. The betrothed of Prince 
Chun, whom he was to have married next month, has committed suicide 
with all her family. . . . My wife and the other women, stupidly obstinate 
like all females, intend to take opium. I cannot prevent them from doing 
so, but I have no intention of doing anything so foolish." — Chingshan, 
Diary, Aug. 15th, p. 302. 

[90] For the undisciplined slaughter and the sack of the city which 
followed, no better authority can be found than Putnam Weale, " Indiscreet 
Letters," pp. 227-301, 


remained cowered like whipped hounds in their kennels. 
The city had been plundered, first by the Boxers, then 
by the Chinese soldiers, but they had only skimmed the 
surface. The foreign troops now set to work to sack it 
riotously, but systematically. At first they spread over 
the city without regard to districts, wherever their fancy 
led them ; then each contingent plundered in the district 
assigned to it for policing [91] ; and, in the final stage, the 

[91] "Confusion has reigned since 14th when 'relief' arrived and 
Chinese think the end of the world has come ; but improvement begins 
and ' touch ' — lost through flight of officials — is now being regained through 
me. . . . The desolation all around is appalling, — what a punishment the 
court- has brought on the capital ! Granzella tells me there is lots of cargo 
waiting for export [at Tientsin], but that you can't get coolies to handle it : 
I hop3 the demand for hands will create supply and that you will do your 
' possible ' to start business again. Here [in Peking] men are seized and 
made to do all sorts of work and not paid : and so none are encouraged to 
approach — but in fact all is still disorder and confusion and one strong 
man with a clear head, definite plans, and tactful audacity is required to 
bring order out of chaos. The Japs show up better than others for deftness, 
discipline, organization. and endurance."— R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Aug. 1 8th, 

" Everything is topsy-turvey, and discomfort and disorder in the city." 
— Same to same, Aug. 30th, 1900. 

" Such confusion and disorder I have never lived in." — Same to same, 
Aug. 31st, 1900. 

" We are gradually getting into shape here, but it is very slow work, 
and I am rather disappointed in the methods of modern armies." — Same 
to same, Sept. 6th, 1900. 

In their conduct and freedom from outrageous excesses, the Japanese 
troops were most highly spoken of. — H. C. Thomson, " China and the 
Powers," p. 114. 

A member of the Japanese House of Representatives praised the 
conduct of the American troops from every point of view ; the Indian 
troops were addicted to petty larceny, but the English officers were beyond 
criticism ; and he speaks of the " ferocity and callous cruelty displayed 
by the Russians." — Japan Daily Mail, Nov. 10th, 1900, cited in ibid., p. 126. 
The French looted methodically and thoroughly. — Putnam Weale, 
" Indiscreet Letters," p. 222. 

" In the Russian district the most unspeakable excesses are said 
to have been committed. The same is said of the district entrusted 
to the French troops. ... It is admitted that orddr was first established 
in the district entrusted to the Japanese, and sojon afterwards in the 
British district . . . and in the American quarter." — McCarthy, " The 
Coming Power," p. 95. 

" General Gaselee stated [at a conference of commanders on Sept. 1 1 1th] 
that there were many Chinese in all sections of the city except the Russian, 
where there were only dogs." — Report to Adj. Gen., War Dept. Report, 
1901, iv, p. 482. 

" Oct. 20th. The American section is now and has for a month past 
been crowded with Chinese. The German section, just across the street, 
is almost deserted, all the shops and marketing being on our side. The 
Chinese say they are robbed by the Germans." — Ibid., p. 487. 

As a part of their plunder the Germans levied on the beautiful bronze 


commanders attempted to introduce some semblance of 
order in the prevailing disorder, by establishing prize 
funds and enacting that all plunder should be brought to 
the prize agent. This was probably done by the Japanese, 
but the prize funds of the contingents of the Western 
powers reached no large sum ; for the troops were out of 
hand and looked on Peking and all it contained, persons 
and property, as prize of war, subject to their will ; and, 
as at Tientsin, so to a greater extent at Peking, as China 
had -broken the law of nations and defied the world, the 
world in its turn recognised none of its own laws in its 
treatment of the law-breaker. 

§ 27. At their conference on August 16th the allied 
commanders divided the cities of Peking into districts 
for occupation and policing, each of the powers, Japan, 
Russia, England, America and France, represented by 
troops .in the relieving force, having assigned to it a defined 
quarter of the three cities — Imperial, Tartar and Chinese — 
while the Americans continued for a time to supply the 
guards for the entrance to the Forbidden City. A force 
of German troops, 1200 strong, arrived on August 23rd, 
and 1000 more were expected in a few days ; and a district 
was carved for them from that assigned to the Russians. 
The Japanese " went straight for the Treasury [Ministry 
of Revenue] and carried off from two to three million taels 
of sycee, transporting it to the Japanese legation " [92] ; 
they also seized on government account the imperial silk 
stores and rice granaries. [93] In some districts com- 
parative order was restored in a week or two v in others the 
disorder continued for several weeks, but in all the foreign 
forces held the conquered city under martial law. 

§ 28. On the question of occupying the Forbidden City 

astronomical instruments in the Observatory, carrying them off *o Berlin. 
At one time, when fit was their policy to placate China, they offered to 
restore them to their owners. The Chinese envoy replied that China 
would be glad to have them restored, in Peking ; the German government 
would not go so far, and, in July, 1914, they were still in Berlin. 

[92] Japanese in Japan Daily Mail, Nov. 10th, 1900, ubi sup. 

Gen. Yamaguchi reported that "up to the first week in October the 
Japanese troops captured 250,000 piculs [15,000 tons] of rice, 2,637,700 
taels of silver, 1400 swords, G7 guns, 2988 rifles and large quantities of 
ammunition." — Nagasaki Press, Oct. 22nd, cited in North-China Herald, 
Oct. 31st, 1900. 

[93] Savage-Landor, " China and the Allies," ii, p. 242 ; Oliphant, 
op. cit., p. 17.1 ; North-China Herald, Oct. 3rd, 1900. 


a compromise was accepted. It was agreed that it should 
not be occupied, birf detachments of the foreign troops, 
accompanied by their envoys and legation staffs, entered 
its portals and marched through its courts on August 28th ; 
the envoys and higher officers also inspected the imperial 
throne rooms and chambers. The troops entered in the 
following order : 800 Russians, 800 Japanese, 400 British, 
400 Americans, 400 French, 250 Germans, 60 Austrians, 
60 Italians. The Russians took entire charge of the 
formal entry, and their commander, General Linievitch, 
visited the several contingents, except the British, and 
received their salute [94] ; during the entry the con- 
tingents cheered each other as they marched past, and 
" Colonel Shiba's little band of defenders of the Suwang 
Fu, who marched separately from the other Japanese, 
got their full and well-deserved share of the cheering. "[95] 
The envoys, secretaries, and higher officers were much 
interested in the rooms which they visited, and scrupu- 
lously respected their contents, except possibly .for a few 
trifling souvenirs. On September 8th the Russian admiral 
Alexeieff, with a small party, made another visit to the 
palace, and it was noted that " all small articles had been 
removed since previous visit ; the Chinese attendants were 
in uniform and more numerous. "[96] On his arrival in 
Peking in October, Count von Waldersee established his 
headquarters in the palace of the Chinese emperor. [97] 

§ 29. To this depth the empire had fallen. In 1842 
China had submitted to a treaty which was accepted as the 
cheapest wav to end the war. In 1858 and 1860 she had 
been reduced to a state of submission and forced to grant 
concessions which infringed on her sovereign status, but 
she was spared many marks of humiliation. In 1895 she 
had been defeated by a power held to be of inferior standing, 
and subjected to great indignity. Now in 1900 the court 
and the administration at Peking had flung down their 

[94] Report of Lieut. Gen. commanding U.S. Army, 1901, iv, p. 479. 
The report adds — " The French and German contingents were entirely 
out of proportion with the degree of their participation in the campaign, 
the French being very feebly, and the German not at all, represented in 
the attack on Peking ; General Frey claimed he had 8000 troops in China." 

[95] Oliphant, op. cit., p. 181. 

[96] Report Lt. Gen. comm. U.S. Army, 1901, iv, p. 482. 

[97] Cf. chap, xi, § 26. 


gage in the face of the whole world ; by insulting and 
threatening the lives of accredited envoys, by wholesale 
massacres of unoffending missionaries and their families, 
and by outrageous assaults upon the foreigners in Peking 
and Tientsin, they had broken the law of nations. For 
these offences retribution was inflicted on the guilty 
officials, and on the troops and Boxers who had been the 
active agents in massacre and destruction ; but the people, 
guilty perhaps in feeling but not active in slaughter, suffered 
terribly from the Boxers and Chinese soldiers, and then at 
the hands of the foreign troops enraged as they were by 
the peril of some and massacre of others of their fellow- 
countrymen. The empire was humiliated as it never had 
been from any of its previous wars, for it had lost, not only 
prestige, but reputation as well ; the court was punished 
by exile and a feeling of impotence ; and the administra- 
tion, both the guilty Manchuc in the north and the more far- 
seeing Chinese of the south, was now called upon to enter 
on a diplomatic battle, as a result of which the nation was 
subjected to still deeper abasement. 



1. Restoration of order in Peking . ... 290 

2. Formation of Tientsin Provisional Government . .291 

3. Councillors appointed from each nation . . . .292 

4. Appointments of heads of departments . . . .292 

5. Limited extent of powers of the T.P.G. .... 293 

6. Sources of its revenue for administration . . . 294 

7. Problems of feeding the Chinese population . . . 295 

8. Problem of salt seized by foreign military authorities . 295 

9. Public works undertaken by the T.P.G 296 

10. Formation of Haiho Conservancy Board . . . 297 

11. Consuls able to veto proposals of T.P.G. .... 298 

12. T.P.G. under strict control of military authorities . . 298 

13. Illustration of Mr. Tenney's case . ... . . 299 

14. Control of T.P.G. over Chinese officials . . . . 300 

15. Li Hung-chang requests powers to open negotiations, 

Aug. 19 . . . . . . 301 

16. Naval and military commanders refuse to recognise him . 302 

17. Foreign powers hesitate to recognise him . . . 302 

18. Prince Ching attempts to open negotiations, Sept. 6 . . • 303 

19. Li Hung-chang's delay in reaching Peking . . . 304 

20. Russian note proposing withdrawal from Peking, Aug. 28 . 305 

21. Allied powers generally reject Russian proposal . . 306 

22. Russian further inquiry of allies' intentions, Sept. 17 . 307 

23. German note demanding prior punishment, Sept. 18 . . 308 

24. Strong attitude of Germany in July .... 308 

25. Count von Waldersee appointed to supreme command . 309 

26. Waldersee arrives at Tientsin, Sept. 25 . » . .310 

27. His appointment coldly received by other allies . .311 

28. Dispersion of Chinese forces . . . . . .313 

29. Relief of Chinese converts around Peking . . .313 

30. Clearing of country around Tientsin and Peking . .314 

31. Forts at Pehtang and Shanhaikwan occupied, Sept. 20, 29 315 

32. Punitive expeditions to Hienhien and Paotingfu, Oct. . 316 

33. Expeditions continued by Germans ; attitude of other 

powers . . . . . . . ,317 

34. Official attitude reflected in movements of troops . .319 

35. Attitude of powers to German note of Sept. 18 . . . 3^3 

36. Chinese imp'l decree inflicting punishments, Sept. 25 . 321 

III— 19 289 





ept. 24 

. 321 

9 m 

. 322 

. . 

. 323 

Nov. 6 

. 324 

% m 

. 324 

• • " 

. 325 

. 326 


. 327 

37. Russia proceeds to absorb Manchuria, Sept. 24 
38 N Russian action at Newchwang, Oct. 4 

39. Russian aggression at Tientsin, Oct. 4 

40. R ussian claim to concession at Tientsin 

41. The claim maintained against protests 

42. General grab of concessions at Tientsin 

43. Anglo-German agreement, Oct. 16 

44. The divergent aims of the allied powers 

§ "J Peking was, on its occupation, divided into districts, 
each being administered and policed by the military forces 
of one of the allied foreign powers. These powers differed 
in their interpretation of the relations between the civil 
authority, represented by the envoy, and the military 
authority, represented by the general commanding ; but 
the restoration of order did not seem to depend on these 
relations. Of the military powers, Japan most quickly 
and most completely brought her district under control, 
while the Russian district was the one in which outrage 
and excesses were most pronounced and most prolonged, 
and in the German the Chinese were systematically op- 
pressed ; of the democratic powers, the district assigned 
to the French was not well controlled, while the British 
and American districts were second only to the Japanese 
in the order] The work of clearing the city 
of hostile elements proceeded slowly, [2] the armed Boxer, 
and even the imperial soldier, easily and readily assuming 
the garb and mien of an inoffensive burgher ; and the 
" enemy " pervaded the country around, even up to the 
city walls, sometimes singly, unarmed and without uni- 
form, [3] sometimes in bands fully armed. The Chinese 
officials generally had fled the city, and those who had 
remained or returned were cowed to submission. [4] On 

[1] Cf. chap, x, § 26, n. 91. 

[2] " As to the enemy, there are some still in the city — scattered of 
course, but hostile still — and there are others all around." — R. Hart to 
E. B. Drew, Sept. 6th, 1900. 

[3] " The country all along [from Peking to Tungchow] was desolate 
and practically deserted, except that now and then, as one came suddenly 
upon them, dozens of natives, mostly wearing soldiers' trousers but no 
coats, dashed across the road and disappeared in the high corn on the other 
side. The result of this imprudence was that a great number of them 
had been shot by new foreign troop 3 just arriving up the country and not 
yet accustomed to the ways of the Celestials." — Savage- Landor, " China 
and the Allies," ii, p. 406. 

[4] Towards the middle of September the foreign generals " received 


September 10th the allied forces within the walls of Peking 
were reported to be 8000 Japanese, 5000 Russians, 3000 
British, 2000 Americans, 2000 Germans, 1500 Frerfch 
and a few Italians and Austrians.[5] 

§ 2. As soon as the city of Tientsin had been taken 
and the Chinese forces cleared from its immediate vicinity, 
the allied commanders decided to form a provisional 
administration, to which should be entrusted the civil 
government and the policing of the city and its suburbs 
as far as the " mud wall, "[6] but not including the foreign 
concessions (British, French, German and Japanese) and 
not including arsenals, camps, railways, telegraphs and other 
military institutions already occupied by the allied troops. 
Within those limits the council of administration, known 
as the Tientsin Provisional Government, and most com- 
monly referred to as the T.P.G., had full power of taxing 
and policing over all Chinese, and was authorised to " seize 
or take under its control all articles of value as well as 
documents which may be found in government buildings 
or in private houses abandoned by their owners. "[7] The 
original limits, with the extensive exceptions, were terri- 
torially narrow, but they comprised the business and resi- 
dence of all the Chinese population. For both police and 
taxing purposes the T.P.G. made repeated efforts to have 
the limits extended, but the superior military authorities 
constantly objected [8] ; but later, after several powers 
had appropriated extensive national concessions, [9] the 
jurisdiction of the T.P.G. was extended to include the hien 
of Tientsin as far as the mouth of the river. 

the visit of a high Chinese official, whose rank corresponds to that of 
minister of War, who came accompanied by several other ministers of the 
Yamen. to convey the thanks of the Chinese nation to the generals of the 
allies for their kindness in entering Peking so promptly and restoring 
peace and quiet ! " — Ibid., loc. cit. 

[5] North-China Herald, Sept. 19th ; 1900. 

Ln U.S. War Dept. Rep., 1901, iv, p. 183. the figures for the Russians. 
Japanese. Italians and French are higher; but " this statemerit is believed 
to be unreliable, each representative being interested in magnifying his 
importance and weight by exaggerating the number of his troops." 

[6] Known to a generation of Tientsinners as " Sankolinsin's Folly.' * 
Cf. li Conflict," chap, xxv, § 5, n. 14. 

[7] Regleni2nt d'Administration pour la Ville de Tientsin. 

[8] Proces-verbaux des Seances du Conseil du Gouvernement Pro- 
visoire de la Cite de Tientsin (hereafter referred to as T.P.G.), Sept. 24th, 
29th, Oct. 4th, 15th, Nov. 15th, 1900. 

[9] Cf. postea, § 42. 


§ 3. The allied commanders assigned to the councillors 
a salary of £1500 per annum each. [10] Three were 
appointed : Colonel Wogack (Russian), Lieutenant Colonel 
Bower, afterwards replaced by Lieutenant Colonel 
O'Sullivan (British), and Lieutenant Colonel Aoki, 
afterwards replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Harada 
(Japanese) [11] ; but, on the promotion of Colonel Wogack 
to major-general, his place was filled, during his "temporary 
absence " (from September 3rd, 1900, to January 31st, 1901) 
by Colonel Worohow. National jealousies at once arose. 
The first proclamation of the council recited the nationality 
and rank of each of the three councillors, and the com- 
mandant of the French forces complained of the omission 
of France ; he was informed that there was no intention 
of claiming any national control, and the matter dropped 
for a time. On October 11th Count von Waldersee 
notified the council that he had " the intention of appoint- 
ing a German member with the same rights and the same 
duties as the others. "[12] This could not be resisted, and, 
as other nationalities claimed equal rights, three additional 
members joined the council : Lieutenant Colonel Arlabosse 
(French), Lieutenant Colonel Foote (American), and Major 
von Falkenhayn (German). Later Italy was represented 
by Commandant Casanuova ; but a demand by Austria- 
Hungary to nominate a member was rejected. [13] The 
American representative was withdrawn on May 10th, 
1901, and the Secretary General was charged with the 
duty of notifying to the American legation matters which 
might concern that government. [14] 

§ 4. The first meeting of the council was held on 
July 30th. The government was organised by the appoint- 
ment of heads of executive departments at a salary of 
£800 each, and of other subordinate agents. The heads 
of department, generally having a good knowledge of the 
language and c stoms of the Chinese, exercised much power 
and a great influence over an administration, the nominal 
heads of which had no such knowledge. As Secretary 
General was appointed Mr. Charles Denby, Jr., son of a 

[10] T.P.G. Sept. 4th, 17th, 1900. 
[11] T.P.G. July 30th, 1900. 
[12] T.P.G. Oct. 11th, 13th, 1900. 
[13] T.P.G. passim. 
[14] T.P.G. April 21st, 1901. 


former American envoy to China (1887-99), a man of 
some capacity and diplomatic experience ;. his duty was 
to act as executive officer of the ship — the working head 
of the T.P.G. The Chinese Secretary was Mr. C. D. Tenney 
(American), forner missionary, then head of the Chinese 
University of Tientsin, and later (1909) Chinese Secretary 
to the American legation ; he was the ordinary medium of 
communication and of administration in matters affecting 
the Chinese. The Chief of Police was Captain Mockler 
(British), whose functions included gendarmerie as well as 
ordinary police duty. The treasurer was Mr. C. Rump 
(German), whose financial skill and knowledge of Chinese 
fiscal conditions were of great value, not only to the T.P.G., 
but also to the foreign diplomatic body in settling the 
terms of the indemnity. The head of the Department of 
Justice was Mr. W. S. Emens (American), who brought 
to his task a thorough knowledge of the Chinese language 
and of Chinese law. The head of the Service de Sante was 
Dr. Depasse (French), who devoted his life to imposing 
the rules of sanitation and health on a race which habitu- 
ally neglected both ; he died in the discharge of his duty, [15] 
and was replaced in January, 1901, by Dr. Houillon. 

§ 5. The council met generally three times a week, but 
one of its members exercised a permanent supervision over 
the routine details of each department'; control of the 
Secretary General's department was claimed by the Russian 
representative, [16] and the others were assigned, Chinese 
Secretariat to the , Japanese, Public Works and Health 
to the French, Police to the German, Treasury to the 
British, Justice to the American. [17] The council's 
authority over Chinese questions was unlimited ; it taxed 
and policed all Chinese and tried them ; and, for murder 
or active participation in the Boxer outbreak, it decapi- 
tated them; prisoners taken by the troops and tried by 
them were also handed to the council for decapitation. 
Over foreigners the council exercised no authority. Ques- 

[15] " Depuis la formation du conseil le Dr. Depasse a exerce ses 
f onctions dans son service de la maniere la plus capable et la plus devouee ; 
il s'est fait aimer de tous ceux avec qui il est entre en contact, et le conseil 
desire exprimer sa plus profonde sympathie aux parents qu'il laisse, ainsi 
qu'aux residents francais de Tientsin." — T.P.G. Jan, 10th, 1901. 

[16] T.P.G. Jan. 23rd, 1901. 

ri7] T.P.G. Jan. 26th, 1901. 


tions affecting civilians were passed on to the consul con- 
cerned ; those affecting the troops were either rejected 
or were put in the hands of the councillor of the nationality 
concerned to be by him referred to his superior, the general 
commanding. The council was the creation of the generals 
commanding and subject to their control. An attempt to 
claim an independent status was promptly suppressed. 
In a scheme of government sent for discussion at Peking, 
in the sentence " le conseil etant rema nation de toutes 
les puissances," for tc puissances ' was substituted 
" generaux en chef " ; and the words " jouira sur le terri- 
toire qui lui est confie d'une indepcndance absolue " were 
struck out. [18] 

§ 6. To provide funds for immediate use the allied 
commanders requisitioned each of the principal allied 
powers for an advance of 50,000 Mexican dollars, [19] and, 
one after the other, they provided £5,000, U.S. $25,000, 
francs 125,000, marks 100,000, or yen 50,000. These 
advances were repaid in no long time, as the revenue came 
in. For a police force each general was requested to send 
soldiers to serve for the purpose — Russia and Japan 200 
each, America, England and France 100 each [20] ; as 
others came in, they too were requisitioned, Germany 
100, [21] Italy 100 men.[22] These quotas were not kept 
up ; numbers of the men were withdrawn without notice, 
and were replaced with much reluctance ; and towards the 
end the ranks had to be reinforced by untrustworthy Chinese 
police agents. But, even with the means at its disposal, 
the T.P.G. did very effective work, and maintained a state 
of order which would have been greater but for its want of 
control over any units of the foreign troops. The taxes 
collected in normal times by the Chinese were by degrees 
collected by the T.P.G. , supplemented by licence fees on 
boats vehicles, opium divans and places of entertainment, 
which had not before been collected. Even the likin, and 
transit dues on foreign goods, were brought within the 
grasp of the T.P.G. These had, on the restoration of order, 
been undertaken by the customs ; but a claim to have 
their collection surrendered to the T.P.G. was at once 

[18] T.P.G. Dec. 24th, HK) t ). [21] T.P.G. Aug; 10th, 1900. 

[19] T.P.G. Aug. 27th, 1900. [22] T.P.G. Sept. 10th, 1900. 

[20] T.P.G. July 30th, 1900. 


acceded to by the commissioner, Mr. E. B. Drew, [23] and 
its incidence extended to Tangku [24] ; but of the amount 
received, certain heads of collection were to be handed to 
the customs. [25] Under the Chinese regime the official 
report of these taxes had never exceeded the round sum of 
Tls. 100,000 [26] ; but, under the impetus of the methods 
of the T.P.G. continued by the customs administration, 
the collection improved ; and the total amount reported 
by the customs as collected for 1904 under these heads was 
Tls. 1,420,024.[27] 

§ 7. One of the problems before the T.P.G. was to 
feed, in the present and during the coming winter, the 
population, mainly living on scanty wages [28] from day 
to day, in a city of which all business was dislocated, while 
access to its producing and consuming district was entirely 
cut off. The first step was to commandeer, at a fair price, 
all available commercial supplies, which were scanty [29] ; 
and the China Merchants S.N. Co. was summoned to deliver 
the tribute rice in its possession, " this rice being necessary 
for distribution for urgent relief. "[30] Besides this, large 
quantities of government rice had been seized by the 
military authorities, at Taku, Tangku and Tientsin, and 
on the march to Peking ; and they were invited to deliver 
this rice to the T.P.G.[31] One after the other they acceded 
to the invitation, and chiefly by this means the population 
of Tientsin was saved from otherwise inevitable famine. 

§ 8. A striking sight at Tientsin was the long row of 
mountains of salt lining the river bank, from opposite the 
French concession upwards, all the property of the Chinese 
government regie. On the occupation of the city by the 
allied forces these mounds were plentifully sprinkled with 
flags, chiefly Russian and French, and sentries were posted 
at them, to indicate that they had been seized by the 

[23] T.P.G. Aug. 18th, 30th, 1900. 
. [24] T.P.G. March 6th, 1901. 

[25] E.g. from Jan. 1st to Jan. 15th, 1902, of a total of Tls. 24,959 
collected, an amount of Tls. 3734 was so handed over. — T.P.G. Jan. 20th, 

[26] Cf. chap, vii, § 16, n. 96. 

[27] Report on Tientsin Native Customs, 1904. 

[28] Before the Boxer outbreak the ordinary wages of an unskilled 
labourer, on which he had to maintain a family, may be put at a maximum 
of 5 pence a day. 

[29] T.P.G. Aug. 8th, 9th, 29th, 1900, etc. 

[30] T.P.G. Sept. 12th, 1900. [31] T.P.G. Aug. 4th, 1900. 


power so represented. But this salt was needed by the 
T.P.G., partly to supply an article necessary for the well- 
being of the million and more of Chinese within its juris- 
diction, partly for the revenue to be obtained by the sale 
of this government property. A demand was sent to the 
allied commanders claiming the salt as property of the 
Chinese government. [32] The American commander 
agreed, on condition that " the money from its sale should 
not be used to pay officers who are already in the service 
of the powers " [33] ; the French commander questioned 
the authority of the council [34] ; the Russian paid no 
attention to the demand [35] ; and the council then ap- 
pealed to Count von Waldersee, who replied that the 
ownership of the salt was not vested in the T.P.G.[36] 
Later on it became obvious that the need of the civil 
population was imperative, and in May, 1901, the various 
military authorities, one after the other, surrendered to 
the T.P.G. the salt which had been seized by them. [37] 
§ 9. Next to sanitation and the repression of disorder, 
the most important function of the T.P.G. was in the 
department of public works. Over the river the Chinese 
had two bridges of boats, openable to let boat traffic 
through, one to the east, one to the north, of the city ; to 
these the T.P.G. added a boat-bridge below the settlements, 
originally laid by the Russians and handed over in January 
1901, and an iron swing bridge, the " International Bridge/' 
leading to the railway station, actually completed under 
the subsequent Chinese regime but from funds left by the 
T.P.G. A broad bund was laid out along the river bank 
from the foreign settlements around the city to its north- 
western corner ; owners of property intruding on the trad 
were summarily ejected, but were fully compensated 
either in money or by land elsewhere. [38] In November, 
ItOO, the council decided to destroy the walls of Tientsin, 
s rid this for three reasons : walls are the distinguishing 
badge of an admin : trative city, and to deprive Tientsin 
of this mark of honour would inflict on it a signal punish- 
ment for its misdeeds ; from these walls a storm of shell 

[32] T.P.G. Aug. 2nd, 1900. [36] T.P.G. Sept. 25th, 29th, 1900. 

[33] T.P.G. Aug. 21st, 1900. [37] T.P.G. May 22nd, 1901. 

[34] T.P.G. Aug. 10th, 1900. [38] T.P.G. Jan. 2nd, 4th, 1901. 
[35] T.P.G. Aug. 25th, 1900. 


had been poured on the foreign settlements, and for military 
reasons thev must not be allowed to remain ; and their 
destruction would allow of the construction of broad 
boulevards, giving routes for communication and admitting 
the sun and breezes. The project was approved by each 
of the commandants [39] ; and the work of demolition 
was entrusted to a contractor, who received the unbroken 
bricks for his payment ; the broken bricks and other 
material were used by the T.P.G. in constructing metalled 
roads. In addition the T.P.G. introduced a water supply, 
taking the water from the Grand Canal above the city. 

§ 10. One public work undertaken by the T.P.G. is 
its crown of glory. Tientsin is inland, thirty-five miles 
from Taku by road, but fifty-six miles by the winding 
course of the river. The distance is not important, but 
the long loops, with deep water constantly cutting further 
into the bights, have many long shoals in the stretches from 
bend to bend ; and. owing to the impeded flow of its stream, 
as the surface of the water rose from the summer rains, 
the mud bottom rose even faster. Improvement was 
possible by cutting across the necks of bottle-shaped 
tongues of land, supplemented by dredging the bar ; and 
the Chinese authorities took the matter in hand in 1898 
under Mr. A. de Linde as engineer. Now the wisdom of 
entrusting the work to the T.P.G. was so obvious, that this 
was the chief factor in determining the allied comman- 
ders to extend its jurisdiction to the sea. The Haiho [40] 
Conservancy Board was constituted by the authority of 
Count von Waldersee as head of the council of allied 
generals, and was composed of the following delegates and 
members : 

Colonel Arlabosse, the French member, representing the 

The British consul, representing the consular body. 

Three members, one each nominated by the British, 
French, and German concessions. 

Mr. G. Detring, commissioner o c customs. 

Mr. A. de Linde, engineer in charge. 

[39] T.P.G. Dec. 7th, seq., 1900. 

[40] The river is shown on foreign maps as the Peiho ; but at Tientsin 
three streams meet — the Yiiho (Grand Canal) from the f.outh. the Peiho 
(North River) from the north, and the Haiho (Sea River) running east to 
the sea. 


The necessary funds were provided jointly by the 
T.P.G. and by the mercantile communities of the foreign 
concessions, the amount contributed by the T.P.G. under 
this liability being Tls. 337,500. Before the council sur- 
rendered the government to the Chinese it had initiated 
the work on three cuttings, and provided the funds for 
them ; two were completed during its term, and the third 
was opened in July, 1904. These three cuttings, of a total 
length of 4*3 miles, reduce the river distance Tientsin- 
Taku from fifty-six to forty-seven miles ; and, combined 
with control of in-flowing and out-flowing channels, the 
work greatly improved the navigable channel. Two other 
cuttings were provided in the scheme, which would reduce 
the river distance to 36*5 miles. [41] 

§ 11. These works were accomplished under powers 
which were exercised in anomalous conditions. Every 
measure of importance had to be referred to the command- 
ing generals for their approval ; and even a consul could 
interpose his veto in any matter which, in his judgment, 
might affect his national interests. The " International 
Bridge " led from the French concession to the railway 
station, at first claimed to be included in the Russian con- 
cession, but afterwards declared to be Chinese ; but it 
crossed the navigable river, which was admittedly Chinese. 
On this ground the T.P.G. claimed the right to build it and 
to provide the funds for its construction and mainten- 
ance. [42] The French consul refused his consent, except 
on condition that the contract be given to the Fives-Lille 
Company [43] ; the council declined to accept the condi- 
tion ; but finally the matter was compromised. The 
T.P.G. undertook the work, but agreed to act in con- 
formity with the wishes of the consul ; the T.P.G. was to 
provide not less than Tls. 64,000, and the French con- 
cession Tls. 40,000 ; and on the dissolution of the T.P.G. 
the bridge was to be placed under the control of the 
French concession " for the safeguarding of international 
interests. "f?*4] 

§ 12. In its relations with the military authorities 

[41] T.P.G. passim; Decennial Reports, 1892-1901, Tientsin; map 
in latter at p. 560. For its later history, cf. chap, xiii, § 24. 
[42] T.P.G. June 12th, 1901. 
[43] T.P.G. June 24th, 1901. 
[44] T.P.G. July 12th, 17th, 1901. 


the T.P.G. was obliged to be most guarded, and many 
snubs were administered by the generals to the colonels 
who formed the council. One instance will illustrate 
their position. In October, 1900, Mr. Tenney, Chinese 
Secretary, laid before the council a letter from a former 
Customs Taotai at Tientsin, well known to foreigners, 
urging that troops should not be sent to Tsangchow (on 
the Grand Canal, eighty miles south of Tientsin) nor 
further south, and speaking of " the efficacy of the measures 
adopted by General Mei Tung-yi to suppress the Boxers 
in that region." The council, in sending the request to 
Count von Waldersee, supported the plea and certified that 
u General Mei enjoys a good reputation. "[45] A punitive 
expedition was, nevertheless, sent consisting of German 
troops. English missionaries at Tientsin applied to the 
council to have some Chinese, for whose character they 
vouched and who had been taken prisoners at Tsangchow, 
brought to trial in order that the facts might be elicited. 
The German member of the council, Major von Falken- 
hayn, thereupon informed the council that " these pris- 
oners had already been handed over, either to the 
authorities of the Chinese post-office [sic], or to the 
British troops, and that it was contrary to German custom 
to keep prisoners " [46] ; and, at the next meeting, he 
declared, " as the result of his investigation, that the 
German troops had made no prisoners in their expedition 
to Tsangchow. "[47] 

§ 13. A few days later General Mei wrote to Mr. Tenney 
bringing certain definite charges against the German troops 
for their conduct at Tsangchow. These charges, at the 
request of the British member, Colonel Bower, he investi- 
gated by examining a number of witnesses ; but, instead 
of laying the results before the council, he handed the 
entire dossier to Colonel Bower. By him it was sent to 

[45] T.P.G. Oct. 17th, 1900. 

" There must have been some misunderstanding to make the Germans 
attack General Mei. He has been one of Yuen Shih-kai's right-hand men ; 
he has been noted for his vigor in suppressing Boxera, guarding the 
Shantung frontier, and protecting mission^ ; and it would seem that- the 
German commander has been misinformed bv his interpreters or guides."— 
North-China Herald, Pec. 19th. 1900. Of /also postea, § 28 ; and Sir C. 
MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 30th, 1900, China, No. 5, 1901, p. 102. 

[46] T.P.G. Dec. 20th, 1900. 

[47] T.P.G. Dec. 24th, 1900. 


1 __^_ 

General Gaselee, British commandant at Peking, who 
transmitted it to Count von Waldersee. The last at once 
instructed the German member to demand from the council 
an explanation on the subject of these documents, which 
were type- written on paper with the heading " Gouverne- 
ment Provisoire de Tientsin — Bureau du Secretaire 
Chinois." The council made no attempt to examine 
into the charges, nor did it touch on the complicity of their 
colleague, Colonel Bower ; but, without delay or hesita- 
tion, it severely reprimanded Mr. Tenney, ' w 1°. for not 
communicating to the council incidents which had come 
to his knowledge concerning the troops of an allied power 
and which had no truth in them, and 2°. for drawing up 
these accusations on paper bearing the T.P.G. letter- 
heading. "[48] A little later the Italian commandant 
instructed the Italian member to demand from the council 
punishment of petitioners who had brought similar charges 
against the Italian troops, which had been proved to be 
false. [49] 

§ 14. Against Chinese officials, however, the T.P.G. 
took a firm and unbending attitude. In its attitude to 
Li Hung-chang, on his arrival to take up the post of viceroy 
of Chihli, it acted on explicit instructions from Count von 
Waldersee, that kt Li Hung-chang is regarded as a private 
person and that his presence is to have no effect on the 
working of the T.P.G. '[50] Other officials were held in 
the same light. The prefect (Tientsin Fu) wrote com- 
municating the fact of his appointment ; in transmitting 
the letter to the allied commanders, the council expressed 
its opinion that " the said prefect evidently does not 
recognise the position occupied by his country vis-a-vis 
the powers, that the form of his letter, judged by Chinese 
custom, is not respectful, and that it should not be con- 
sidered worthy of a reply."[51] In May the prefect's 
superior, the taotai having jurisdiction over Tientsin and 
Hokien prefectures, arrived at his post ; he was summoned 
before the council and ordered to amend certain procla- 
mations which he had issued, by a declaration that the 

[48] T.P.G. Dec. 31st, 1900, Jan. 2nd, 4th, 1901. 

[49] T.P.G. May 22nd, 1901. 

[50] T.P.G. Sept. 21st, 29th, 1900. 

[51] T.P.G. Sept. 21st, 1900. 


territory under the T.P.G. was not within his jurisdiction, 
and to quit the T.P.G. territory within twenty- four hours. 
He was further requested to inform the viceroy, Li Hung- 
chang, that any territorial official sent in the future would 
be expelled from the jurisdiction. [52] Other officials who 
came on special missions connected with the peace negotia- 
tions were warned that they must exercise only the functions 
for which they were commissioned and which had been 
approved by the military authorities. [53] 

§ 15. Li Hung-chang had resumed his peace negotia- 
tions as so n as the relieving force reached Tungchow on 
August 12th, and had tried in vain to restrain it from 
entering Peking. [54] As soon as the legations had been 
relieved he telegraphed on August 19th to all the powers, 
urging a cessation of hostilities, as. the sole object for which 
the allied forces had advanced on Peking was accomplished, 
and asking that negotiations should be opened ; arid on 
August 21st he repeated his demand with more insist- 
ence. [55] At the same time the two Yangtze viceroys 
solicited, and received, an assurance that, " whenever the 
time for settlement arrives, their advice will be asked for 
and will receive due consideration. "[56] The replies to 
Li Hung-chang were generally to the effect that negotia- 
tions could be entered upon only after consultation between 
the allies and obtaining the opinions of the envoys ; no 
notice was taken of the demand for a cessation of hos- 
tilities. [57] The American government [58] rejected the 
plea that hostilities should cease because the allied forces 
had, without aid from China, accomplished their object, 
but would support a truce after China had established 
order in Peking, and shown both its will and its ability 
to enforce a cessation of fighting there and elsewhere ; 
when this was done, it was willing to open negotiations 
under the conditions of its circular of July 3rd. [59] This 

[52] T.P.G. May 13th, 1901. 

[53] T.P.G. May 31st, June 3rd, 1901. 

[54] Cf. chap, x, § 13. 

[55] U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., p. 15; French Doc. Dip M 1900, pp. 
133, 134 ; Brit. China, No. 1, 1901, pp. 99, 101. 

[56] China, No. 1, LOO 1, pp. 100, 101. 

[57] Ibid., pp. 101, 104. 

[58] Mr. A ee to Wu Ting-fang, Aug. 22nd, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 16. 

[59] Cf. ch. . ix, § 3, 


involved some conditions — notably the preservation of the 
territorial integrity of China and • the maintenance -of the 
open door — which had not explicitly received the adhesion 
of other powers ; but from this policy the American 
government did not waver. 

§ 16. The powers were for some time at cross purposes 
on the question whether Li Hung-chang should be recog- 
nised as plenipotentiary. His credentials could, obviously, 
not be examined until the negotiations were opened ; but 
it was known that he had been appointed plenipotentiary 
by a decree issued, on August 8th, by such imperial authority 
as existed in Peking on that date ; and, although the siege 
of the legations continued, the validity of the decree was 
accepted by the Chinese officials whose opinion the powers 
were bound to respect ; and a later decree of August 24th, 
issued by the empress dowager in her flight, extended his 
powers and associated Prince Ching with him in the 
mission, [60] Before diplomatic action could be taken 
the admirals at Taku, or some of them, resolved to " inter- 
dict the plenipotentiary of the Chinese government, Li 
Hung-chang, from all communication with the Chinese 
authorities in the event of his arrival at Taku." The 
Russian and American governments at once protested, 
and it was explained that the admirals had only taken this 
provisional decision pending the receipt of definite instruc- 
tions from the envoys in Peking. [61] But their action, 
though not in agreement with the dogma that the foreign 
powers were not in a state of war with China, [62] was in 
full harmony with the military situation and the attitude 
of the army authorities ; those authorities refused to 
recognise Chinese officials at Tientsin, [63] as their superiors, 
the generals and envoys, had done at Peking before. [64] 

§ 17. The envoys in Peking, and therefore the home 
governments, were slow in coming to any united agree- 

[60] Wu Ting- fang to State Dept., Aug. 12th, Sept. 10th, 11th, 1900, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., pp. 14, 21. 

[61] Ibid., pp. 17-19; Doc. Dip., p. 133. 

[62] Cf. chap, ix, § 4. 

[63] Cf. antea, § 14. 

[64] "Seeing that Chinese officials are not allowed, or recognised in 
Peking, I suppose Tientsin will follow suit and keep Hwang, [cf. § 14] 
away ; and, things being as they are, this is the right course."- — R. Hart 
to E. B. Drew, Sept. 7th, 1900. 


ment.[65] The British government would not decide 
on opening negotiations with Li Hung-chang until it had 
heard from its envoy [66] ; this was also the decision of 
Russia [67] ; and the only power which returned a cate- 
gorical answer was America, [68] guardedly favorable — 
but the American Association of China protested strongly, 
on September 3rd, against recognising Li Hung-chang 
as peace negotiator. [69] The British envoy's opinion was 
that " it is useless to attempt serious negotiations with the 
Chinese government until the Chinese military power is 
disheartened and completely crushed " [70] ; and the 
Japanese government, recognising the unwillingness of the 
powers to accept Li Hung-chang's commission as pleni- 
potentiary, considered it " absolutely necessary that the 
powers should at once take the necessary steps to induce 
the emperor and empress dowager to return to Peking and 
form a responsible government. "[71] The envoys gener- 
ally realised that " the weakness of the imperial govern- 
ment becomes daily more apparent, and the possibility of 
restoration of peace and order under Chinese, authority 
more remote " [72] ; and most of them remained without 
instructions. [73] In the divergence of aims of the home 
authorities, definite instructions could not be sent. 

§ 18. Affairs were drifting into chaos, from which 
one man, Sir P. Hart, did his best to ^escue them. A 
personal message from the empress dowag r invited him 
to act as associate plenipotentiary ; but he recognised the 

[65] " I am sending you copy of what I wrote to legations re rendition 
of Tientsin customs, and consular immunity : you can't imagir how hard 
jt is to put anything through here." — Same to same, Sept. 20th, 1900. 

" No legation reply yet to demand for rendition of customs — it takes 
a month to put anything through here ! . . . Just now tne whole thing 
is a jumble ; at first all were of one mind — relief of the legations : that 
done, they all fly apart and Heaven only knows how it will end." — Same 
to same, Sept. 28th, 1900. 

[66] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald, Aug. 23rd, 1900, China, No. 1, 
1901, p. 104. 

[67] Sir C. Scott to Lord Salisbury, Aug. 22nd, 1900, ibid., p. 107. 

[68] Cf. antea, § 15. 

[69] North-China Herald, Oct. 24th, 1900. 

[70] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Aug. 24th, 1900, China, 
No. 1, 1901, p. 105. 

[71] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Whitehead, Aug. 30th, 1900, ibid., p. 127.- 

[72] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Sept. 13th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 33. 

[73] Same to same, Sept. 16th, 1900, ibid., p. 34. 


changed conditions, and returned answer that the per- 
sonnel of the commission must be entirely Chinese and 
Manchu.[74] He set to work, however, to hunt up Prince 
Ching, whom he found at Hwailu, but " had trouble in 
rinding him " [75] ; and he had still more trouble in 
stiffening the wobbling prince's backbone. [76] The prince 
was filled with apprehension, but with no clear insight 
into the difficulty of his task,[77] and his record during the 
troubles was not clear [78] ; but he undertook his mission 
ahd called, on September 6th, on each of the foreign envoys. 
He then invited them to a conference,- but this failed owing 
to the refusal of two envoys to attend : the Russian envoy 
because he had been ordered by his government to with- 
draw the legation from Peking ; the German charge 
d'affaires because only the newly appointed minister, Dr. 
Mumm von Schwartzenstein, was authorised to represent 
> he German government in the negotiations, and he had not 
arrived. [79] These reasons indicate two opposing lines 
of policy. 

§ 19. Meantime where was Li Hung-chang ? He 
was eagerly looked for in Peking, and expected from day 
to day — so confidently expected that Sir R. Hart kept 
his credentials and despatches in hand, lest they should 
miss him on the way from Tien .sin. [80] He was still in 
Shanghai, hoping that his appointment as negotiator might 
be accepted by the powers, and that they would decide that 

[74] Personal statement of Sir R. Hart to author. 

[75] R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Aug. 30th, 1900. 

[76] " The prince will be here 1st, 2nd, or 3rd ; if the demands are 
extravagantly heavy — and I fear they will be — he will probably bolt and 
join the war party. Tung Fu-siang & Co. are for holding out and not 
giving in — this, if gone on with, means years of anarchy and confusion." — 
Same to same, Aug. 31st, 1900. 

[77] " I saw the prince on the 4th and he is calling on legations this 
morning. There's a hard task before him, and I doubt if he realises its 
magnitude : as for indemnity, how will it be paid ? " — Same to same, 
Sept. 6th, 1900. 

[78] " The Italians to-day are shooting a Boxer Chief, son of Teh, 
former governor of Kiangsu and Kiangsi, and, I think, brother of two 
Imperial Councillors — in fact everybody is a Boxer here, I believe. Prince 
Ching' s name is down in their books for subscriptions and presents ! The 
man that shot Ketteler belonged to the Chen-chi-ying (Prince Ching' s 
Brigade) and now says he was ordered to shoot by ' A Prince ! ' Further 
questioning may get the Prince's name, and if it is Ching there will be a big 
rumpus, and still bigger difficulty." — Same to same, Sept. 23rd, 1900. 

[79] Tel. Tokyo, Sept. 11th, North-China Herald, Sept. 19th, 1900. 

[80] R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Sept. 2nd, 7th, 13th, 15th, 1900. 


the time had come for military action to give place to 
diplomacy. In this he was disappointed, and finally 
decided, if not accepted as plenipotentiary, to take up his 
post as viceroy of Chihli ; and after vainly begging a 
passage on a foreign ship of war, he embarked, Septem- 
ber 14th, on a British merchant ship, arrived at Taku the 
18th and at Tientsin the 20th. His seal as viceroy was 
not there and he was compelled to wait until October 1st, 
when he assumed the duties of the viceroyalty. He 
arrived at Tientsin in a " shocking bad temper " [81] ; and 
during his stay there is reported to have consorted only 
with the Russians, and to have gone about accompanied 
by a Russian cavalry escort. [82] He left for Peking 
October 3rd. His earlier arrival there might have been of 
some benefit to China, but by this time the divergence of 
foreign aims had become marked. 

§ 20. On August 28th the Russian government 
addressed a circular note to the other powers declaring that 

" Russia has no designs of territorial acquisition in China ; that, 
equally with the other powers, Russia has sought the safety of the 
legation at Peking and to help the Chinese government to repress 
the troubles"; that, incidentally to necessary defensive measures 
on the Russian border, Russia has occupied Newchwang for military 
purposes, [83] and, as soon as order is re-established, will retire 
troops therefrom if the action of other powers be no obstacle thereto ; 
that the purpose for which the various governments have co-operated 
for relief of legations in Peking has been accomplished ; that, taking 
the position that, as the Chinese government has left Peking, there 
is no need for her representative to remain, Russia has directed the 
Russian envoy to retire with his official personnel to Tientsin ; that 
the Russian troops will likewise be withdrawn ; and that, when the 
government of China shall regain the reins of government and afford 
an authority with which the other powers can deal, and will express 
desire to enter into negotiations, the Russian government will also 
name its representative. "[84] 

The Russian minister spoke further of the 

" serious fears he entertained with regard to the danger of onfiding 
to a small international force the task involved in the re-establish* 

[81] "I hear .Li is in a shocking bad temper, and more inclined to 
dictate than to shang-liang [negotiate], much less obey ; his passage 
through Tientsin will grieve and rile the poor old man." — Same to same, 
Sept. 21st, 1900. 

[82] North-China Herald, Oct. 10th, 17th, 1900. 

[83] Cf. chap, x, § 10. 

[84] U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., p. 19; China, No. 1, 1901, p. 113. 

Ill— 20 


ment and maintenance of order in Peking, where no Chinese govern- 
ment exists at present, and where, as long as the troops of the foreign 
powers remain, none is likely to exist.'-' [8 5] 

§ 21. The Russian intention of withdrawing the 
Russian diplomatic representative altogether from Peking 
aroused a feeling of dismay, and the world wondered what 
lay behind it. The most generally accepted explanation 
was that Russia had agreed to support Li Hung-chang in 
his plan of diplomatic campaign, in return for a free hand 
in Manchuria, [86] an explanation supported by the tenden- 
cies shown in the ensuing months. The powers generally 
objected, some partially, some wholly. The American 
government renewed its adherence to the proposals made 
in its note of July 3rd ; it felt assured that the allied 
forces should not be withdrawn from Peking until after 
44 the Chinese government shall have been re-established 
and shall be in a position to enter into new treaties with 
adequate provisions for reparation and guarantees of future 
protection," but it recognised that " a continued occupa- 
tion of Peking would be ineffective to produce the -desired 
result unless all the powers unite therein with entire 
harmony of purpose," since " any power which determines 
to withdraw its troops from Peking will necessarily proceed 
thereafter to protect its interests in China by its own 
method," and this danger " would make a general with- 
drawal expedient" ; and it welcomed the Russian assur- 
ances regarding acquisition of territory and the occupation 
of Newchwang.[87] France accepted the Russian proposal 
in principle, but thought that the question of withdrawing 
the troops could only be decided by the commanders on 
the spot, and that " the chief object to be pursued is to 

[85] Sir C. Scott to Lord Salisbury, Aug. 29th, 1900, China,. No. 1, 
1901, p. 122. 

[86] " Did you see tjie leader in the S'hai Daily l^ews of 17th, that 
Li offered to give Manchuria to Russia for evacuation of Peking ? This is 
probably the keynote of present movements." — R. -Hart to,E. E. Drew, 
Sept. 28th, 1900. 

" We knew here [Shanghai] that before Li Hung-chang went up to 
Peking from Shanghai, he had arranged with the Russian representative 
that Russia should do everything in her power to thwart the allies in their 
attempts to secure reparation from China for the crimes her government 
has committed, the quid pro quo being the acquiescence of China in Russia's 
occupation of Manchuria."— Ed. North-China Herald, Nov. 28th, 1900. 

[87] Memorandum, Aug. 29th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., p. 20. 


terminate the present situation as expeditiously as possible, 
but to do this the establishment of a really responsible 
government is essential " [88] ; but ultimately she accepted 
the Russian proposal without reserve.[89] Japan had 
already decided to reduce the unnecessarily large numbers 
of her troops, but, as regards the Russian proposal, thought 
44 it would be prudent for the powers to continue jointly 
exercising their military pressure for some time longer. "[90] 
Germany was not prepared to withdraw her forces from 
Peking at present. [91] England was still deeply involved 
in the war in South Africa and took no very decided atti- 
tude ; the government was " not able to form a confident 
judgment " until it should hear from the British envoy and 
commander [92] ; the envoy was dismayed and predicted 
that " a general massacre of Christian converts and of all 
Chinese who have shown themselves friendly to foreigners 
would most certainly ensue if all foreign troops leave 
now " [93] ; and the government thereupon decided that 
44 the time when it would be expedient to withdraw the 
British forces from Peking has not arrived.' '[94] 

§ 22. The powers, other than Russia and, after some 
hesitation, France, were unwilling to withdraw their 
troops from Peking, thereby relaxing the military pressure 
exerted on China by the occupation of the capital, and by 
the latent possibility of the continuation of punitive 
expeditions into the country around. Russia then, on 
September 17th, inquired of the powers severally — 1°. if 
they had the intention to transfer their legations to Tient- 
sin ; 2°. if they recognised the full powers of Prince Ching 
and Li Hung-chang as sufficient ; 3°. if they were prepared 
to open negotiations with the plenipotentiaries. [95] The 
American government replied that, 1°. it had no present 
intention to withdraw its legation from Peking ; 2°. it 
accepted the plenipotentiary authority of the two negotia- 
tors as prima facie sufficient ; 3°. it was ready to enter 

[88] Sir E. Monson to Lord Salisbury, Aug. 31st, 1900, China, No. 1, 
1901, p. 128. 

[89] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Herbert, Sept. 10th, 1900, ibid., p. 147. 
[90] Mr. Whitehead to Lord "Salisbury, Sept. 7th, 1900, ibid., p. 139. 
[91] SirC. Scott to same, Sept. 11th, 1900, ibid., p. 148. 
[92] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Whitehead, Sept. 3rd, 1900, ibid., p. 135. 
[93] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 7th, 1900, ibid., p. 148. 
[94] Lord Salisbury to Sir C. Scott, Sept. 10th, 1900, ibid., p. 146. 
[95] U.S. For.JRel., 1901, App., p. 23 ; China, No. 1, 1901, p. 172. 


into relations with them: [96] The British government 
replied to a similar effect [97] ; but the presentation of 
the German note made the other powers less ready to 
consider these questiors. 

§ 23. On September 18th the German government sent 
a note to the allied powers declaring that it " considers, 
as a preliminary condition for entering into diplomatic 
negotiations with the Chinese government, a surrender of 
such persons as are determined upon as being the first and 
real instigators of the crimes committed in Peking against 
international law.." Subordinate offenders were too 
numerous, and '• a wholesale execution " would " go 
against the civilised conscience " ; the envoys might 
designate those most guilty, but " it is not so important 
that a large number of persons should be punished as that 
the chief instigators and leaders should receive punish- 
ment." The allied powers were requested to instruct 
their envoys " to designate the principal Chinese person- 
ages as to whose guilt in instigating or committing the 
crimes there is no room for doubt. "[98] 

§ 24. All the powers had from the beginning granted 
to Germany a predominating influence in dealing with the 
Boxer revolt, due to the fact that it was her envoy who 
had been murdered ; but this influence could not at first 
be exercised in military operations, because Germany had 
in the Far East no troops and only a small naval force. 
The principal role was necessarily left to Russia and 
Japan, the two powers which could at once send large 
forces to the scene ; and Germany, unwilling to accept 
a subordinate military position, refused even to follow 
the example of Austria and Italy, and sent not even a 
corporal's guard to carry her flag in the force which relieved 
the legations. [99] But the German. government allowed 
no doubt to be entertained that it intended and expected 
to take a leading part in the military and diplomatic pro- 
ceedings which might be necessary to end the revolt and 
to exact reparation. Authentic news of Baron von 
Ketteler's murder was received in Europe on July 1st, and 

[96] U.S. For. Rel., ubi sup. 

[97] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Hardinge, Sept. 29th, 1900, China, No. 1, 
1901, p. 200. 

[98] Ibid., p. 175 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., p. 23. Cf. postea, § 35. 
[99] Cf. chap, x, §§ 9, 27, n. 94 ; antea, §§ 3, G. 


the next day orders were given to form an over-sea expedi- 
tionary force of 7000 men. The first portion of this force 
left Bremerhaven on July 27th, and to it the emperor 
delivered a stirring speech in which the general policy of 
the German government was referred to in these words : 

" When you meet the foe you will defeat him. No quarter will 
be given, no prisoners will be taken.[100] Let all who fall into your 
hands be at your mercy. Just as the Huns a thousand years ago, 
under the leadership of Etzel [Attila], gained a reputation by virtue 
of which they still live in historical tradition, so may the name, of 
Germany become known in such a manner in China, that no Chinese 
will ever again even dare to look askance at a German. "[101] 

§ 25. Germany had less experience in over-sea expedi- 
tions and less adaptability in dealing with extra-European 
peoples than any of the allied powers, except Austria, but 
her right to lead was, at the outset, generally recognised ; 
and the emperor promptly grasped the opportunity. On 
August 7th the powers were informed that the emperor 
of Russia had stated to the German emperor that " it 
would afford him especial satisfaction to place the Russian 
troops operating in the province of Chihli under the 
supreme command of Field-Marshal Count von Waldersee. 
The German emperor is ready to undertake the task, as he 
has reason to assume that also other governments besides 
Russia consider that a £erman supreme command would 
be of advantage," Japan being ready to assent ; and the 
powers were asked for their views " on the subject of the 
supreme command, and as to the manner in which they 

[100] Cf. antea, § 12. 
- [101] Weser Zeitung, Bremen, cited in Times, July 30th, 1,900. The 
spirit of this speech was in keeping with a previous expression of the 
German emperor's opinion. In 1895, when Japan had shown her rising 
power and the three governments, Russia, France and Germany, had 
united to compel her to retrocede Liaotung to China, he designed a picture 
in which on the one side the Buddha of the East sat enthroned on a black 
cloud rising from a blazing conflagration ; on the other, under a radiant 
cross in the sky, stood figures, representing the nations of Europe. One 
male figure, St. Michael, with a flaming sword, stood appealing to the 
others ; the other seven, female figures, representing the powers, stood 
some ready, some reluctant ; one was trying to urge forward the most 
reluctant, Britannia. The original was presented to the Tzar ; the pub- 
lished engraving — " Nach einem Entwurf seiner Majestat des Deutschen 
Kaisers, Konigs von Preussen, Wilhelm II, gez. v. H. Knackfuss, 1895 " — 
has inscribed on it in German and French — " Nations Europeennes ! 
Defendez vos biens sacres ! " with the imperial and royal autograph. 


would be disposed to connect their troops in Chihli with 
the army operating under Field-Marshal Count von 
Waldersee."[102] The answers seemed to indicate a 
dislike of the assumption of leadership, but an unwilling- 
ness to deny Germany's rights in the matter. The Russian 
government gave no sign that it accepted the god-fatherly 
position assigned to it, but informed the allies that " the 
idea will meet with no objection" from it. [103] The 
French government replied that, to ensure unity of effort, 
"wfeen Field-Marshal Count von Waldersee shall have 
taken in the council of generals the distinguished place 
assured him by his higher rank, the French commander- 
in-chief will not fail to establish proper relations with the 
field-marshal. "[104] The British government replied that 
it would "most gladly concur" and "view with great 
satisfaction an arrangement* by which so distinguished a 
soldier is placed at the head of the international forces. "[105] 
The American government was "much gratified to secure 
the command of so distinguished and experienced an 
officer as Count Waldersee for any combined military 
operations," but preferred to leave questions of method to 
be settled as they arose. [106] Japan accepted expressly 
on the ground that Count von. Waldersee would be the 
officer of the highest rank in China. [107] Italy and Austria 
accepted without reserve. 

§ 26. Count von Waldersee was a distinguished soldier, 
under whose command, if that were the only consideration, 
the soldiers of other nations might be proud to serve. With 
a good record in the war of 1870, he had been Moltke's 
assistant on the Grand General Staff, up to the death of 
that great strategist ; and was then appointed to the 

[102] Sir F. Lascelles to Lord Salisbury, Aug. 7th, 1900, China, No. 1, 
1901, p. 60 ; Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay, same date, U.S. For. Bel., 1900, 
p. 331. Cf. also postea, n. 108. 

[103] Sir C. Scott to Lord Salisbury, Aug. 8th, 1900, China, No. 1, 
1901, p. 64 ; Marquis de Montebello to M. Dejcasse, same date, Doc. Dip., 

1900, p. 116. 

[104] M. Deleasse to M. Boutiron, Aug. 14th, 1900, Doc Dip., 1900, 
p. 125. 

[105] Lord Salisbury to Sir F. Lascelles, Aug. 9th, 1900, China, No. 1, 

1901, p. 66. 

[106] Mr. Adee to Mr. Jackson, Aug. 10th, 1900, U.S. For. Bel., 1900, 
p. 331. 

[107] Baron Hayashi in Lord Salisbury to 'Mr. Whitehead, Aug. 9th, 
1900, China, No. 1, 1901, p. 67. 


command of the ninth army corps ; he had several times 
commanded one of the armies at the imperial autumn 
manoeuvres ; and in 1900 he was one of the five Army 
Inspectors, with the rank of field-marshal. After many 
ceremonies in which undue emphasis was placed on his 
supreme command, [108] and the exuberance of which 
betrayed the newness of Germany's international position, 
he left Berlin on August 19th and arrived at Tientsin on 
September 25th. There he remained until October 15th ; 
he then went to Peking, which he entered on October 17th, 
and, in his capacity of commander-in-chief of the allied 
forces, he established his headquarters in the imperial 
palace. One of his orders was that those matters of 
common interest which had before been laid before the 
council of commanders, or referred to each of the allied 
commanders, such as .those relating to the Tientsin Pro- 
visional Government, should be referred direct to him, and 
it would lie with him to refer them to his colleagues on the 
council [109] ; but the British commander (and doubtless 
others) expressly demanded that he should be referred to 
directly* and not through Count von Waldersee, in all 
matters other than military.[110] 

§ 27. A general adhesion had been given by the 
governments to the proposal to place Count von Waldersee 
in supreme command, ranging from the warmth of the 
British acceptance to the coolness of the French ; but 
none liked the arrogance of the assumption that it was a 
natural right, based on grounds other than the murder of 
the German envoy ; and in China the acceptance of his 
position was reluctant and by no means general. England, 
with the memory of the German emperor's telegram to 
President Kruger, with present difficulties in intercepting 

[108] At Cassel the emperor on Au fe ast 18th presented a field-marshal's 
baton to Count von Waldersee, whom he addressed in these words — " I 
greet you as the head of the united troops of the civilised world. ... I 
hail with joy the fact that, at the suggestion of the emperor of All the 
Russias, the whole of the civilised world, without distinction, spontaneously 
[? readily] entrusted to your Excellency the command of its troops. . . . 
In the interest of our people I wish our common expedition may turn into 
a firm guarantee of mutual appreciation and mutual peace for the European 
powers, so that, what we failed to 'obtain in peace, may now perhaps be 
obtained with weapons in our hands." — Times, Aug. 20th, 1900. 

[109] T.P.G. Dec. 24th, 1900. 

[110] T.P.G. Nov. 28th, 1900. 


munitions for the Boers carried in German ships, and with 
an active anti-English campaign going on in the German 
press, had every reason to wish to be on good terms with 
the German government ; and the British military authori- 
ties in China loyally subordinated themselves to the 
generalissimo. Russia, whose Tsar had, it was asserted, 
originated the proposal, had her own ambitions, which did 
not accord with subordination to the generalissimo, and 
which had already led her to propose that the powers should 
arrest all military operations and withdraw their troops 
from Peking ; and the numbers of her forces in the Far 
East enabled her to follow her own course. Japan had 
supplied the driving force to the expedition which had 
relieved the legations, and, outside Manchuria, i.e. in 
Chihli, had troops nearly equal in number to those of all 
the other allies together ; she was now expected to sub- 
ordinate her military operations to the policy of a power 
which had contributed no force to the relief of the lega- 
tions, and naturally feared that operations furthering 
German policy might bring her into conflict with Russia, 
which was evidently the power with which Japan must 
one day come into conflict ; and now, as in July, [111] she 
moved with reluctant steps on a way of which she could 
not clearly see the end. Austria and Italy accepted the 
generalissimo, but together they supplied only a few 
companies. France might accept a German as head of a 
military council, but had no intention, and could not be 
expected, to place her troops under his orders. America 
was the one among the allied powers which could not be 
suspected of territorial aspirations in China, and which, 
therefore, had no fear that any political complication 
could affect her interests ; but American policy avoided 
concerted action when possible, and accepted co-operation 
only when other methods were not available [112] ; and 
the subordination of the American military commanders 
to the authority of the generalissimo was little more 
than nominal.[113] 

[111] Cf. chap, x, :§ 6, 7. 

[112] Cf. chap, ii, §§ 5, 11 ; viii, § 4, n. 20, § 16 ; x, § 8. 

[113] Conference of commanders, Sept. 11th. " The French, Japanese 
and American generals stated that they had not received definite orders 
to place themselves under the field-marshal's command." — Report to 
Adj. Gen., U.S. War Dept. Beports, 1901, iv, p. 483. General Chaffee in 


§ 28. On the capture of Peking the Chinese forces 
scattered. In the earlier days occasional parties were 
reported near Tientsin, though in no threatening force [114] ; 
but generally they fled quadrivious— except that they 
did not turn towards the enemy. Their movements were 
not generally reported, except that, on two occasions, 
fugitive hosts of " Boxers and troops " trying to return 
to Shantung were met', defeated with heavy loss, and 
turned back, by Yuen Shih-kai's troops : once, on 
August 23rd. near Tehchow, in the north-western corner 
of Shantung ; once, on October 8th, near Tsangchow, in 
south-eastern Chihli.[115] On August 29th the Roman 
Catholic converts, beleaguered for more than two months 
at Hienhien, were relieved by a force under the command 
of the provincial treasurer of Chihli, Tingyung, temporarily 
acting viceroy, operating from Paotingfu and anxious to 
place himself on record as a good anti-Boxerite.[116] 
The organised army of the empire fled westward — 
south-west to Paotingfu and Shan si, north-west to 
Kalgan (Changkiakow) and beyond ; and a considerable 
force, including Tung Fu-siang and his Kansu troops, 
accompanied the court in its flight by Taivuenfu to 

§ 29. There were Boxers in Peking itself, [117] but 
in no long time they were reduced to submission ; there 
were Boxers in the country immediately around, marauding 
and terrorising the villages [118] ; at a safer distance there 
were disorderly bodies of disorganised soldiers ; and still 
further off were imperial troops organised in their units. 
Sir R. Hart wrote — " I expect Christmas will see Peking 
completely surrounded — a wide circle, but one that will 
affect supplies and communications. "[119] The military 
authorities saw the danger and took the matter in hand, 
but, even before they took organised action, the mission- 
aries, who themselves had just passed through great perils, 

1900 and Admiral Dewey in 1898 took summary steps and used blunt 
language in dealing with foreign officers who interfered with their opera- 
tions or their control of their own forcer . Cf. chap, x, § 22, n. 79. 

[114] T.P.G. passim. 

[115] North-China Herald, Aug. 29th, Oct. 17th, 1900. Cf. anteaj 12. 

[116] Ibid., Sept. 19th, 1900. Cf. chap, x, § 1, postea, § 32. 

[117] R. Hart to'E. B. Drew. Aug. 21st, Sept. 6th, 1900. 

[118] Cf. antea, n. 2 and 3. 

[119] R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Sept. 6th, 1900. 


took steps to carry relief to their converts in outlyingr 
villages, who also had been persecuted and had suffered 
much hardship. In these expeditions the missionaries 
were necessarily accompanied by an armed escort, an^L 
they were thus given the power to impose their terms oh 
the villages which had been guilty of murdering and other- 
wise ill-treating Christians ; they were able to constitute 
themselves, at the same time, prosecuting attorneys and 
judges, and to execute the writs of their own courts ; 
and their action excited much unfavorable comment, 
especially, most of them being American, in the United 
States. [120] But, though they exercised their power 
rigorously, they did it justly ; and the punishment they 
inflicted was almost invariably a money fine, which was 
devoted to providing food for the destitute converts of the 
same villages, who must otherwise have starved during 
the ensuing winter. 

§ 30. The military authorities were at first so much 
engrossed in the task, of restoring order in Peking and 
Tientsin, that no expeditions were sent out into the 
country. On September 8th a mixed column was sent to 
Tuliu, fifteen miles south of Tientsin, a Boxer centre, and 
burned it. On September 11th a force of 1700 Germans 
marched from Peking to Liangsiang, fifteen miles down 
the Peking-Hankow railway ; it took the city by assault 
after a stubborn defence. On September 16th three 
columns, one Anglo-American, one German, one Japanese, 
left Peking and marched to Sankiatien, eighteen miles 
west of the capital ; an arsenal was destroyed, two temples, 
Boxer headquarters, were burned, and, as punishment for 
the burning of the British legation summer quarters on 
June 9th, [121] a pagoda was blown up ; the Boxers them- 
selves escaped owing to the failure of the German column 

[120] One American mission, that of the American Board, made requi- 
sitions in the country around Tungchow to the following extent. In 
23 villages 166. converts had been killed by Boxers, and 184 houses of con- 
verts destroyed. As compensation the villages were fined Tls. 16,150 in 
money (used to relieve distress in the villages), and were made to give 
96 acres of land ; they were also made to rebuild 19 chapels, the property 
of the converts, which had been destroyed, and to give 20 small plots 
for cemeteries. No claim was made for property of the mission. — E. G. 
Tewksbury, Oct. 10th, in Gen. Chaffee to Mr. Conger, Oct. 23rd, 1900, U.S. 
War Dept. Rep., 1901, iv, p. 453. 

[121] Cf. chap, viii, § 11. 


to connect. [122] These were* the only organised expedi- 
tions up to the time of the arrival at Tientsin of Count von 
Waldersee, and their obviously sole object was to push 
the hostile forces further back from the cities of Peking 
and Tientsin and to facilitate provisioning them ; after 
that date the policy of punishment, enunciated in the 
German note, led to a great increase in A the number of 
punitive expeditions and vindictive punishments inflicted 
on many cities. 

§ 31. Just before the generalissimo's arrival, however, 
it was decided by the allied commanders that the military 
security of their position would be endangered if the 
forts of Pehtang and Shanhaikwan were left in Chinese 
hands. The garrisons had given no signs of life during all 
the troubles, and apparently asked nothing more than to be 
left undisturbed ; but Chinwangtao was. the only ice-free 
port by which, for the three winter months, the foreign 
troops cpuld maintain communication with the outer 
world. After a merely nominal resistance, orders to that 
effect having come from Li Hung-chang, the Pehtang 
forts were taken by assault on September 20th by a force 
made up from six nationalities, the Americans and 
Japanese not co-operating. [123] The forts at Shanhai- 
kwan and Chinwangtao were found to have been abandoned 
by their garrisons, under Li Hung-chang's orders, and 
the principal fort at Shanhaikwan was actually occupied 
on September 29th by seventeen men from the British 
gunboat Pigmy. The forts, seven at Pehtang, one at 
Chinwangtao, and five at Shanhaikwan, were then dis- 
tributed among the powers (Russia, Japan, England, 
France, Germany, and Italy) to be held severally but 
in the common allied interest. [124] Though the action was 
necessary for the purpose of keeping communications open, 
it was felt that hidden purposes might underlie it. [125] 

[122] " The Japanese troops arrived at their position at the appointed 
hour ; the Germans did not show up at all. It was a very large expedition 
to accomplish a small object." — Report to U.S. Adj. Gen., ubi sup., p. 484. 

[123] The British and Italians joined too late fpr the actual assault, 
which was delivered before the appointed date. 

[124] North-China Herald, Sept. 26th, Oct. 3rd, 1900 ; China, No. l % 
1901, p. 178 ; China, No. 5,. 1901, p. 3. 

[125] " As to Pehtang — is not that a little late in the day ? And what 
has it to do with relief of Peking, etc. ? It probably is the beginning, of 
another chapter in the evolution and development of foreign plans and 
aspirations." — R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Sept. 21st, 1900. 


§ 32. The arrival of Count von Waldersee on the 
scene infused new activity into the military operations. 
On October 8th a force of 1000 French troops marched 
south from Tientsin ; relieved the mission at Kata, 
"where for more than three months 1800 converts had 
remained closely besieged and constantly harassed by 
numerous Boxer bands " ; destroyed villages which " had 
taken an active part in the massacre of Christians " ; and 
left two companies to garrison the mission at Hienhien 
during the winter. At the same time another French force 
marched to Paotingfu ; they met no opposition on the 
way or at that city, and entered it on October 13th, releas- 
ing several missionaries who were in the custody of the 
troops of the provincial treasurer, Tingyung ; they also 
rescued other missionaries at Chengtingfu.[126] In the 
middle of October a column of 3500 troops, German, 
French, British and Italian, marched from Peking, and 
another of 4000, German and French, from Tientsin, and 
they arrived at Paotingfu on October 18th. As the city 
had already been occupied by the French column from 
Hienhien and was under French protection, the allied 
force waited for the Chinese garrison to evacuate it. This, 
in pursuance of Li Hung-chang's policy, was done ; General 
Gaselee then tried to come to a settlement with the taotai, 
who came outside, but failed ; and the troops forced their 
way through the gates on . the 20th. An international 
military tribunal was then formed to investigate the murder 
of missionaries on July 1st [127}; it condemned to death 
the provincial treasurer, Tingyung, the Tartar-General, and 
a commandant of a battalion who had ejected the mis- 
sionaries from the shelter they sought in his camp. Ting- 
yung " had been the patron of the Boxer movement for the 
whole year,"[128] but latterly had tried to ra-establish 
his reputation by suppressing the Boxers ; but the judg- 
ment on all three was carried into effect. The taotai, 
Tan Wen-hwan, was sent to Tientsin, where he was tried, 
condemned, and, on December 7th, executed by decapita- 
tion and his head exposed for six days. [129] Besides this 

[126] Decennial Reports (Tientsin), 1892-1901, ii, p. 524. 

[127] Cf. chap, ix, § 15. 

[128] Smith, " China in Convulsion," ii, p. 714. 

[129] T.P.G. Dec. 5th, 1900. 


the gates and one corne~ of the city wall were demolished, 
two temples connected with the murders were blown up, 
a fine of Tls. 100,000 was imposed, and Tls. 240,000 found 
in the provincial treasury was confiscated. A garrison 
of 2000 Germans and 1200 French was left in the city for 
the winter.[130] On the return of the main force, a 
detachment visited Yungtsing, the scene of murders on 
June 1st [131] ; it destroyed one of the gates and three 
temples, and levied a fine of Tls. 40,000 (Tls. 4000 in cash 
and a security bond for Tls. 36,000).[132] This money 
was devoted to relieving the distress in Yungtsing. [133] 
The conduct of the troops on the Paotingfu expedition 
was made the subject of an official complaint by Li Hung- 
chang ; the American, Russian and Japanese envoys left it 
unanswered, as they had no troops engaged ; the British, 
German, French and Italian envoys, " considering the tone 
of the viceroy's letter, with whom we are not in official 
relations, to be altogether objectionable, decided .to return 
it to him."[134] 

§ 33. After this the powers, one after the other, began 
to disapprove of these expeditions, Germany alone per- 
sisting in them to tlie end. From December 12th, 1900, to 
the end of April, 1901, forty-six expeditions were sent 
out ; thirty-five consisted only of German troops, and four 
nly of Italian troops, the other seven being mixed forces, 
except one^ American and one British sent to deal with 
new troubles. [135] The Russians took no part in them ; 
their policy was clear — to hold the sea-board (they after- 
wards joined in holding Peking and Tientsin), and to 

[130] Decennial Reports, ubi sup. ; U.S. War Dept. Rep., 1901, iv, 
pp. 460 seq. 

" The Paotingfu doings will, I fear, brand us for ever with treachery 
in Chinese estimation : we got the Prince to order Chinese soldiers out of 
the way, and the officials came out and met them in a friendly manner : we 
then turned round and tried a lot of the officials, sentenced them, etc., 
and, if report is true, the next step will be the looting of the city ! It is a 
nasty business altogether." — R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Nov. 6th, 1900. 

[131] Cf. chap, viii, § 6. 

[132] Sir E. Satow to Lord Salisbury, Nov. 8th, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 155. 

[133] Smith, " Convulsion," ii, p. 717. 

[134] Sir E; Satow to Lord Salisbury, Nov. 5th, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 153. 

[135] Roster of all expeditions made by allied forces, Dec. 12th, 1900, 
to May 1 0th, 1 90 1 , German Headquarters, Peking, Winter Palace, May 10th, 
1901, in U.S. War Dept. Rep., 1901, iv, p, 495. 


require the Chinese authorities to suppress their own 
disorder. This, though perhaps from other motives, 
was also the policy of the Japanese, and they took part, 
and that reluctantly, in very few expeditions. The 
French, close bound to Russia, acted in harmony with Li 
Hung-chang's orders to the Chinese commanders — that 
they were never to offer resistance, but were on all occa- 
sions to withdraw on the approach of a foreign force. 
On one occasion the French, acting m co-operation with 
the Germans, formed the reserve in'tase of disaster, leaving 
to the Germans the part of striking force ; on another 
occasion, also co-operating with the Germans, the French 
commander sent officers asking the Chinese commander to 
withdraw, which the latter did, thereby giving the Germans 
a facile victory. [136] The British maintained the appear- 
ance of entire unity of action ; but through the whole of 
t£e punitive campaign General Ga^eiee did no more than 
send an officer with a corporal'j guard to represent the 
flag on expeditions ; and on January 1st the government 
expressed its opinion that " pending negotiations no further 
expeditions should take place unless the conduct of the 
Chinese should render them neces*ary."[137] The 
Americans disapproved of the policy and made no attempt 
to co-operate in its execution General Chaffee ordered 
that, in all cases, " our troop* must be fired upon before 
firing a shot, and, generally, that property should not be 
destroyed " ; and he reported that " the American troops 
did not participate in either of the expeditions [to Pao- 
tingfu in October, to Kalgan in November], it being my 
opinion that the less the disturbance of the country by 
military operations, the sooner would arrive the oppor- 
tunity to diplomatically arrange full reparation for all 
wrongs committed, and for the further reason that every 
indication pointed to the utter collapse of organised 
armed opposition by the Chinese."[138] American army 
opinion was that " the German contingent, not having 
arrived in season to take part in the relief expedition, they 
were anxious, as most military men are, to engage in active 

[136] Decennial Reports, pp. 526, 527, 528. 

[137] Lord Lansdowne to Sir E. Satow, Jan. 1st, 1901, China, No. 6, 
1901, p. 1. 

[138] Gen. ChaTee to Adj. Gen., Nov. 20th, 1900, U.S. War Dept. 
Rep., 1901, iv, p. 450. 


service, and these expeditions afforded the only field for 
the indulgence of their desires. "[139] American popular 
opinion is fairly expressed by an editorial statement 
that 4fc it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the 
greatest single obstacle to peace in China is the in- 
transigeant attitude of Germany. . . . It is to Germany 
that the primacy belongs in aggression and mischief- 
making. "[140] 

§ 34. The official attitude is to some extent reflected 
in the movements of troops. Early in December there 
were in the province of Chihli the following troops as 
reported by the respective commanders [141] ; but it is 
to be noted that, in the opinion of American officers, the 
least interested politically, these reports were generally 
overstatements. [142] The Russians had 37 companies and 
squadrons, a possible total of 5500 men ; of these 25 were 
at Shanhaikwan and along the railway, and only 2 in 
Peking ; and " by January 1st, 1901, the greater part of 
the Russian troops will be withdrawn from the province 
of Pechili " ; but no report was made of the large numbers 
in Manchuria. The Germans had 72 companies, a possible 
total of between 9000 and 11,000 men ; of these no less 
than 49 were at Peking and Paotingfu, with 19 at Tientsin. 
The French had 76 companies, or about 9500 men ; of 
these 40 were at Peking and Paotingfu, and 18 at Tientsin. 
The Japanese had 30 companies, about 4000 men ; of 
these 17 were at Peking. The Italians had 18 companies, 
2000 men, 13 companies being at Peking. The British had 
113 companies, about 12,000 men, entirely Indian troops 
except the artillery and 450 sailors ; of these 45 were at 
and around Peking, 50 at Tientsin, and 18 at Shanhaikwan. 

[139] Daggett, " China Relief Expedition," p. 141. 

[140] New York Nation, Oct. 18th, 1900. 

One of Mr. John Hay's colleagues in the cabinet wrote to him — " The 
approach of the much-prepared Waldersee seemed a peril. There was 
the danger that after all the emperor's windy eloquence he might feel, the 
necessity of kicking up a row to justify the appointment of Waldersee." 
The author adds—" This was Hay's view also."— W. R. Thayer, "' Life 
and Letters of John Hay," ii, p. 245. 

[141] Roster of the allied troops in the province of Pechili, China, 
December, 1900, Army H.Q. in East Asia, Peking, Winter Palace, Dec. 1 1th, 
in Gen. Chaffee to Adj. Gen., Dec. 19th, 1900, U.S. War Dept. Rep., 1901, 
iv, p. 488. 

[142] U.S. War Dept. Rep., 1901, iv, pp. 446, 483 ; Daggett, " China 
Relief Expedition," p. 57. 


The Americans had 16 companies, 1876 men,[143] of 
which 13 were at Peking and 3 at Tientsin ; at the end of 
September the American force had numbered 5000 
men. [144] America retained only a legation guard ; the 
other powers maintained their hold on Shanhaikwan to 
prevent it from being taken by Russia for her sole benefit, 
but elsewhere their objects were different. England 
maintained an expectant attitude, having strongly rein- 
forced her troops, but taking no part in the punitive 
expeditions. Japan had reduced her force to less than a 
fourth of its previous maximum, and she too refused to 
join in the expeditions. Italy concentrated her small 
force at Peking, ready for any opportunity. France co- 
operated with Germany, but her action was directed more 
to the protection of missions and of the Peking-Hankow 
railway, and to support of Russian policy, than to puni- 
tion. Germany concentrated her strength at Peking, and 
she alone entered whole-heartedly on the policy of punitive 

§ 35. This exposition illustrates the state of mind of 
the ministers of the powers who had to consider the 
German note.[145] The American government replied 
that it was fully determined to " hold to the uttermost 
accountability the responsible authors of any wrongs 
done " ; and that " their punishment is believed to be an 
essential element of any effective settlement " ; but it also 
44 thought that no punitive measures can be so effective . . . 
as the degradation and punishment of the responsible 
authors by the supreme imperial authority itself" ; and 
that the requirement of such punishment " is essentially a 
condition to be embraced and provided for in the negotia- 
tions for a final settlement " ; it therefore proposed to 
open negotiations at once. [146] The Japanese govern- 
ment accepted the note in principle, but in giving practical 
effect to it they " anticipated grave difficulties," .and 
suggested further exchange of views. [147] The Russian 

[U3] Daggett, op. cit., p. 143. 

[U*« Ibid., p. 135. 

[145] Cf. antea, § 23. 

[146] Mr. Hill to Baron Speck von Sternburg, Sept. 21st, 1900, U.S. 
For. Bel., 19 U, App., p. 24 ; China, No. 1, 1901, p. 179. 

[147] Mr Whitehead to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 22nd, 1900, China, 
No. I, 1901, y. 180. 


government thought the proposals " somewhat vague," 
and " would prefer that the role of executioner, if necessary, 
should be undertaken by the Chinese government. "[148] 
France, Italy and Austria accepted the proposal.[149] 
The British government replied that it entered fully into 
the feelings which prompted the proposal, but that it was 
reluctant to give an undertaking not to open any negotia- 
tion until after the infliction of punishments which it might 
" not be in our power to inflict. "[150] 

§ 36. On September 25th a Chinese imperial decree 
was issued by which the princes Chwang and Yih and the 
beilehs Tsailien and Tsaiying were deprived of rank and 
office ; Prince Twan was deprived of office, sent to trial, 
and his salary stopped ; Duke Tsailan, Yingnien, Kangyi 
and Chao Shu-kiao were to be sent to trial.[151] The 
German government then sent a second note proposing 
that the allied powers should instruct their envoys at 
Peking to report on the following points : 1°. If the list 
of persons to be punished, contained in the decree, is 
sufficient and correct ; 2°. if the punishments proposed 
are adequate for the crimes ; 3°. in what manner will 
the powers be able to control the execution of these 
punishments. [152] 

§ 37. After temporarily uniting for the relief of the 
legations, the powers were now obviously pursuing diver- 
gent aims. Russia was the first to take active steps to 
secure the objective of her policy. On September 24th 
Russian troops assaulted and occupied the Chinese city 
of Newchwang, on the 26th Anshanshan, and on the 28th 
Liaoyang ; on October 2nd they occupied Mukden, and 
on the 4th Tiehling ; on October 6th they crossed at 
Yingkow, the treaty port of Newchwang, to the west side 
of the river, and took possession of the terminus of the 
Chinese railway from Kowpangtze ; and on the 10th 
occupied Tienchwangtai.[153] They had thus, in a short 

[148] Mr. Hardinge to same, Sept. 20th, 1900, ibid., p. 184. 

[149] Sir F. Lascelles to same, Sept. 24th, Mr. Herbert to same, 
Sept. 23rd, 1900. ibid., pp. 185, 197. 

[150] Lord Salisbury to Sir F. Lascelles, Sept. 25th, 1900, ibid., p. 187; 
same to same, Oct. 2nd, 1900, China, No. 5, 1901, p. 2. 

[151] Wu Ting-fang to State Dept., Oct. 2nd, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 
1901, App., p. 25. 

[1-52] Ibid., p. 25 ; China, No. 5. 1901, p. 3. Cf. chap, xii, § 7. 

[153] Corresp. Newchwang, North-China Herald, Oct. 17th, 1900. 



campaign of little over two weeks, laid their grasp on the 
whole of southern Manchuria, from Port Arthur in the 
south to Tiehling in the north, and as far west as the line 
of the railway Peking-Shanhaikwan-Sinminfu ; in the dis- 
organised state of the Chinese army they had, in effect, 
established their control over the whole country as far as 
the borders of Chihli,[154] but Shanhaikwan escaped their 
grasp. In pursuance of Li Hung-chang's policy of constant 
withdrawal, the garrison at Shankaikwan evacuated the 
place, and a Russian force arrived a few hours afterwards, 
and only one hour after the landing party from the Pigmy 
had taken possession and, by hoisting the British flag, had 
secured the fort for the alliance of the powers. By virtue 
of her superior force at Tientsin, Russia had seized the 
railway from Tientsin to Peking, but was compelled to 
surrender it to joint use and occupation, and the coal mine 
at Tongshan, which she restored to the Chinese ownership 
of Chang Yen-mao, owing to Mr. Detring's influence with 
the Russian .authorities [155] ; she had also seized the 
railway from Tientsin to Shanhaikwan and thence north, 
and on this she still maintained her hold. At the end of 
November she was still refusing to surrender it, informing 
the British government that she could agree to do so only 
on condition that her expenses of occupation were re- 
paid [156] ; and her grasp on it was not relaxed until 
February, 1901. [157] 

§ 38. Yingkow, the port of Newchwang, had been occu- 
pied on August 4th by Russian troops, who raised their 
naval flag over the custom house and the forts. [1 58] An 
assurance was given that " the temporary administration 
. . . will not infringe the rights and privileges which 
foreigners and Chinese have enjoyed previously in Ying- 
kow " [159] ; but, by regulations issued on August 9th, 
the Russian administration was subordinated to the 
military authorities, and the Chinese customs was placed 

[154] " The Russian absorption of Manchuria is proceeding without 
material interruption." — Edit., North-China Herald, Nov. 7th, 1900. 

[155] Tel. Tientsin, Oct. 25th, North-China Herald, Oct. 31st, 1900. 

[156] Same, Nov. 24th, ibid., Nov. 28th, 1900 ; Times, Nov. 29th, 1900. 

[157] Cf. postea, § 41. 

[158] Cf. chap, x, § 10. 

[159] Adm. Alexeieff to consul Fulford, Aug. 6th, 1900, China, No. 1, 
i901, p. 192. 


under its supervision, the customs revenue being devoted 
to defraying its expenses. [160] On October 4th for the 
Russian naval flag over the custom house was substituted 
the Russian customs flag, a Very significant change, though 
the political situation restrained the other powers from 
protesting at the moment ; but the Chinese envoy assured 
the British government that " it was not the case that an 
agreement had been arrived at between China and Russia 
for the Russian occupation of Manchuria." 

§ 39. At Tientsin the Russian authorities gave a signal 
illustration of their aims. In the siege of the foreign 
settlement the Russian troops defending it outnumbered 
all the others ; in the relief on June 23rd the Russians 
preponderated, as they did in the detachment which 
relieved the Seymour expeditionary force ; and even after 
the departure of the Peking relieving force, the Russian 
troops left behind outnumbered those of any other nation. 
In the operations around Tientsin the Russians were 
engaged on the east side of the river, and on that 'side they 
remained encamped, occupying the territory opposite to 
the British and French concessions, territory in which lay 
the railway station and its sidings. This railway was 
under Chinese management with no foreign share in its 
control, but its bonded debt had been financed by English 
banks. [161] During the stay of their troops at Tientsin 
the Russian authorities did not allow their predominating 
position to be lost sight of : thus, e.g., in the allocation of 
control of departments in the Tientsin Provisional Govern- 
ment, the Russian member claimed, as a right, the control 
of the Secretariat General, the fly-wheel of the machine, 
and the claim was conceded by his colleagues. [162] On 
October 4th the British commander informed the T.P.G. 
that " Russian soldiers had interrupted a British officer 
engaged in constructing a field telegraph line on the east 
bank of the river opposite the British concession, on the 
ground that the land belongs to the Russians " ; and he 
claimed that " the land does not belong more to the 
Russians than to other nations but is under the control 

[160] Lord Lansdowne to Sir fi}. Satow, Jan. 15th, 1901, China, No. 6, 
1901, p. 13 ; but cf. antea, n. 86. 
[161] Cf. chap, iv, §§ 11, 15. 
[162] T.P.G. Jan. 23rd, 1901. 


of the Provisional Government " ; and he asked the 
T.P.G. to intervene.[163] 

§ 40. The Russian commander replied that he had 
acted by order of Admiral Alexeieff, whom the T.P.G. 
should address on the subject. [164] The admiral was in 
Manchuria, and matters drifted for a month, with British 
sentries jostling Russian sentries on their beats, and " a 
prod of a bayonet, accidental or intentional, would have 
put the fat in the fire. "[J65] The Russian authorities 
issued a circular on November 6th asserting that " since the 
17th of June the imperial Chinese troops have joined the 
Boxers who attacked the foreign concessions and railway 
station occupied by the Russian troops, and on the 23rd of 
June the Russian reinforcements, which came to raise the 
blockade, swept the left bank of the Peiho . . . and have 
established themselves there by right of conquest in 
having taken possession by force of arms and at the price 
of Russian blood spilled " ; this land, for a length of 
about two miles, and including the railway station, had 
" become the property of the Russian troops on the 23rd of 
June by act of war"; and it was declared to be under 
sole Russian control. [166] A protest from a power whose 
sentries were disputing the control over the land would 
have been a very serious matter, and the " Germans and 
French, incase of dispute, would have rushed to the rescue 
of the Cossacks " [167] ; but the American envoy pro- 
tested vigorously against this act of "grab" as con- 
stituting a breach of all the engagements made b}^ the 
allies since the beginning of the troubles, and added that 
tw now, under the present movement of the allied forces in 
China, there are still stronger reasons why this large tract 
of land, including, as it. does, an important public railway 
station and other property necessary for international use, 
should not be appropriated by a single power. "[168] 

§ 41. The Russian envoy, with the curious contra- 
diction of language which seems possible only with Russian 

[163] T.P.G. Oct. 4th, 1900. 
[164] T.P.G. Oct. 5th, 1900. 

[165] Norman Stewart, " My .Service Days," p. 340. 
[1S6] Russian circular, Nov. "6th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, p. 41. 
[167] N. Stewart, " My Service Days," ubi sup. 

[168] Mr. Conger to M. de Giers, Nov. 14th, 1900, U.S. For. ReJ., 1901, 
p. 45. 


officials, replied that " there is no question whatever of 
acquiring territory by conquest on the part of Russia nor 
of taking possession of the railway station," and that, 
if the circular rt contains any expressions which could 
be so construed, they have certainly been erroneously 
used. "[169] But the envoy was, apparently, not fully 
informed of the intentions of his government ; and, in reply 
to the formal protest of the American consul at Tientsin, he 
was informed that " all questions concerning this matter are 
to be addressed to the Russian military authorities. "[170] 
The Russian contention finally prevailed, and an area of 
nearly 1000 acres, with a river frontage of 11,000 feet, 
became a Russian concession ; but the keystone of 
the dispute, the railway from Peking to Shanhaikwan, 
was handed over to the British authorities in February, 
1901, by the double action of negotiations at St. Peters- 
burg and the decision of Count von Waldersee as com- 
mander-in-chief ; and by this transfer the area covered 
by the railway station and its approaches remained under 
Chinese control. [171] 

§ 42. The game of " grab " thus begun was continued 
by the other powers. There were originally three* conces- 
sions, dating from 1861, British, French and American ; 
no American control was ever exercised over the last, but 
the right to it was not formally abandoned. The com- 
merce of the port was mainly centred in the British con- 
cession, with a river frontage of 3000 feet ; this, in 1897, 
was extended to the west, bringing its area to 700 acres, 
but the 550 acres of the extension were not granted as a 
n concession," but only as a " settlement," or ',' reserved 
area for residence." In 1895 a German concession was 
granted, next down-stream to the American, with a river 
frontage of 5000 feet ; and, in 1896, a Japanese concession 
between the French concession and the suburbs of the city. 
These were the commercial nations interested in the China 
trade ; and now, Russia having opened with a lead, the 
other powers followed suit. On November 7th, a day 
after the Russian circular, the Belgian consul gave formal 

[169] M. de Giers to Mr. Conger, Nov. 16th, 1900, ibid. 
[170] M. Poppe to Mr. Ragsdale, Dec. 5th, 1900, ibid. 
[171] For the whole dispute on the railway and the station, cf. China, 
No. 7, 1901, passim. Waldersee's decision, Feb. 15th, 1901, at p. 122. 




notice that the Belgian authorities claimed a Belgian, 
concession down-stream from the Russian, with one 
kilometre (3300 feet) of river frontage with an area of 
238 acres. [172] Then in succession the French authorities 
claimed an extension of the French concession west to the 
mud wall [173] ; the Italians an Italian concession next 
above the Russian [174] ; k the Austrians an Austrian con- 
cession next above the Italian [175] ; and the Japanese 
an additional Japanese concession extending from their 
original concession to the city of Tientsin, including much 
Chinese suburb, besides a large tract next down-stream 
from the German. [176] Against each of these claims the 
American envoy protested, urging that the powers con- 
cerned should wait until the diplomatic situation was 
cleared ; but no attention was paid to his protests. In the 
next year the German and British concessions were both 
extended, but no protest was made. The American 
authorities for a time entertained the idea of reviving 
their claim to the old American concession, in order that 
they might not be entirely shut out from Tientsin ; but, 
in the end, it was arranged to annex it, subject to right of 
recall, to the British concession. [177] 

§ 43. If Russia had territorial ambitions, Germany 
also had hers— the one to be attained by withdrawing from 

[172] Belgian circular, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, p. 42. 

Of each of the foreign powers interested there were, in 1899, the 
following numbers of firms and residents in the treaty ports of China : 

All foreign nations 










[173] French circular, Nov. 20th, 1900, ibid., p. 42. 
[174] Sgr. Raggi to Mr. Conger, Dec. 1st, 1900, ibid., p. 47. 
[175] Herr Czikann to same, Nov. 28th, 1900, ibid., p. 4G. 
[176] Japanese circular, Dec. 28th, 1900, ibid., p. 47. 

[177] Mr. Hay — ~ Mr. Conger, Feb. 2Gth-Nov. 27th, 1901, ibid., pp. 

48 seq. See map at p. 341. 
























China, [1781 the other to be furthered by a policy of fright- 
fulness. An attempt must, however, be made to retard 
the attainment of Russian aims ; and to do this the Anglo- 
German agreement was made on October 16th, in four 
articles. The first declared that "it is a matter of joint 
and permanent international interest that the ports of 
China should remain free and open to trade and to every 
other legitimate form of economic activity for the nationals 
of all countries without distinction," and this the two 
governments agreed to uphold ; the second declared that 
the two powers would " not make use of the present com- 
plication to obtain for themselves any territorial advan- 
tages in Chinese dominions, and will direct their policy 
toward maintaining undiminished the territorial conditions 
of the Chinese empire " ; by the third, " in case of another 
power- making use of the complications in China in order 
to obtain under any form whatever such territorial advan- 
tages," the two powers agreed to consult together " as to the 
eventual steps to be taken for the protection of their own 
interests in China " ; and, by the fourth, the two powers 
were to invite the adhesion of the other allied powers. [179] 
The American government replied accepting the first two 
articles as being in full harmony with the policy which it 
had advocated from the beginning ; and, on the third, 
it declared that, as it concerned the two powers, it did " not 
regard itself as called upon to express an opinion in respect 
to it. "[180] France acceded in the terms of the American 
reply : Italy, Austria and Japan acceded without reserve ; 
and Russia declared that she had already made her declara- 
tion of disinterestedness. [181] 

§ 44. Russia continued to effect her absorption of 
Manchuria, though both Russia and China denied formally 
that there was any agreement between them touching those 
provinces. [182] Germany did not waive any of the 
exclusive rights she had asserted in Shantung, and actively 

[178] Manchuria, it must always be remembered, though a part of the 
Chinese empire, was not in China. ' 

[179] British and German ambassadors to Mr. Hay, Oct. 23rd, 1900, 
U.S. For Rel.. 1901, App., p. 31. 

[180] Mr. Hay to. ambassadors, Oct. 29th, 1900, ibid. 

[181] Mr. Hardinge to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 10th, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 45. 

[182] Sir C. Scott to Lord Lansdowne, Jdn. 6th ; Chinese envoy to 
same, Jan. 15th, 1901 ; China, No. 6, 1901, pp. 4, 13. 


pursued the policy of punitive expeditions. France, 
though. inclined to co-operate in the German expeditions, 
still gave her diplomatic support to Russia whenever the 
occasion arose.. Italy pursued an active policy within 
the measure of her limited force. Japan was fearful of the 
future, and kept a watchful eye on Russia. America 
adhered to the open door, pushed negotiation as distin- 
guished from compulsion, and took no part in any military 
operations after the arrival of Count von Waldersee. 
England had her hands occupied with the war in South 
Africa, and could do no more than maintain a watchful 
attitude ; on the diplomatic side a candid opinion was 
expressed by Mr. John Hay, the keenest observer then in 
the service of any of the powers — 

" My heart is heavy about John Bull. Do you twig his attitude 
to Germany ? When the Anglo-German pact came out, I took a 
day or two to find out what it meant. I soon learned from Berlin 
that it meant a horrible practical joke on England. From London 
I found out what I had suspected, but what it astounded me after 
all to be assured of — that they did not know ! When Japan joined 
the pact, I asked them why. They said, ' We don't know, only if 
there is any fun going on, we want to be in.' Cassini [183] is furious 
— which may be because he has not been let into the joke. "[184] 

[183] Russian ambassador at Washington. 

[184] John Hay to Henry Adams [his most intimate friend], Nov. 2 1st, 
1900, W. R. Thayer, " Life and Letters of John Hay," ii, p. 248. 



1. Attitude of Yangtze viceroys to the negotiations . . 330 

2. Court still under anti-foreign domination . . . 330 

3. Indecision of Chinese plenipotentiaries and foreign powers 332 

4. French note circulated, Oct. 4, 1900 . , . . 332 

5. Attitude of allied powers to> French note .... 333 

6. Insufficient Chinese proposals for punishment . . . 334 
7.' Increase in Chinese proposals ; still insufficient . . 335 

8. Foreign envoys consider proposals inadequate and absurd 336 

9. Attempt to. induce court to return to Peking . . . 337 

10. Chinese plenipotentiaries open negotiations, Oct. 15 ; 

no result . . . . . . ... 338 

11. Foreign envoys consider and amend French note . . 339 

12. Discussion by envoys on the punishments i . . 340 

13. Joint note presented, Dec. 24 ; accepted by imp'l decree . 342 

14. Observations of viceroys and plenipotentiaries on joint note 342 

15. Furthermilitaryaction proposed by Waldersee, Feb. 15,1901 343 

16. Alleged Russo-Chinese agreement on Manchuria, . . 344 

17. Agreement denied, admitted, modified, dropped . .345 

18. American proposals regarding indemnities and treaty 

revision ......... 346 

19. Final protocol signed, Sept. 7, 1901 . . . .347 

20. Art. i ; reparation for murder of Baron von Ketteler . 348 

21. Art. ii ; punishment of nobles and imperial ministers . 348 

22. Punishment of provincial officials ..... 349 

23. Prohibition of examinations for five years . . . 349 

24. Art. iii : reparation for murder of Mr. Sugiyama . . 349 

25. Art. iv : erection of expiatory monuments in cemeteries . 349 

26. Art. v : prohibition of import of arms for two years . . 350 

27. Art. vi : indemnities : differing opinions of the powers . 360 

28. Committee of envoys to study payment of indemnities . 351 

29. Indemnity fixed at Tls. 450,000,000 payable in 40 years . 352 

30. Amount claimed for each power . 

31. Art. vii : right to have legation guards . 

32. Reservation of foreign legation quarter . 

33. Art. viii : razing of forts at Taku and elsewhere 

34. Art. ix : occupation of points, Peking to the sea 

35. Art. x : publication of imperial decrees . 





36. Art. xi : revision of treaties ; Peiho and Hwangpu con- 

servancies ........ 357 

37. Art. xii : creation of ministry of Foreign Affairs . . 358 

38. Agreement to evacuate Peking . . . . . 358 

39. China had now reached the lowest stage of degradation . 358 

§ 1. While the allies, considered as a concert of the 
powers, had their difficulties, the Chinese plenipotentiaries 
had no easy task. The government was disorganised, and 
such authority as existed in the empire was in the hands 
of the viceroys, who during the troubles had appealed from 
Philip drunk to Philip sober, and who now ranged them- 
selves solidly on the side of their emperor and empress 
dowager, against both those foreign ministers who would 
hold the empress dowager to strict accountability for her 
misdeeds, and those Manchu nobles who would lead her 
further on the road of Boxerism. Against the one party 
they demanded entire immunity for the empress dowager, 
and fulL security for her person [1] ; against the other they 
denounced the Manchu leaders in a memorial to the throne, 
urging the empress dowager to _" punish those who have 
brought the empire and the court to the present pass." 
This appeal was countered by the question — " What punish- 
ment do you recommend ? "- — and, as the legal penalty for 
the crime charged against these members of the higher 
nobility was execution by the lingering process, the vice- 
roys were in a quandary. [2] The two Yangtze viceroys 
were, on the suggestion of the foreign envoys, joined as co- 
plenipotentiaries with Prince Ching and Li Hung-chang.[3] 
In the original commission Junglu was included as joint 
plenipotentiary, but he was objected to on grounds which 
appeared valid at the time, though now known to be un- 
reasonable. [4] 

§ 2. The sovereigns and the court were still under 

[1] Identic note of viceroys to consuls, consul Warren to Lord Salis- 
bury, Aug. 18th, 1900, China, No. 1, 1901, p. 95 ; viceroys to Lo Feng-lu, 
Aug. 20th, ibid., p. 99 ; Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 30th ; 
ibid., p. 200. 

[2] North-China Herald, Oct, 31st, 1900. 

[3] SirC. MacDonald to Lord" Salisbury, Sept. 23rd, 1900, China, No. 1, 
1901, p. 181 ; imp. decree dated Sept. 13th in Chang Chih-tung to Lo 
Feng-lu, Oct. 31st, 1900, China, No. 5, 1901, p. 60. 

[4] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 10th, 1900, China, No. 1, 
1901, p. 150 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Sept. 27th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 
1901, App., p. 36. 


anti-foreign domination. On their way westward they 
lingered for a short time at Taiyuenfu, where Yiihsien, 
" infamous forever," still held the reins as governor ; and, 
even after their arrival at Sianfu, the principal persons in 
the administration were the princes Twan and Chwang, 
and the greater part of the troops protecting them were 
those under the command of Tung Fu-siang. Assuming 
that the sovereigns were fully resolved to accept the 
statesmanlike policy of Li Hung-chang and to follow the 
course recommended by him, they were powerless to give 
effect to their resolve— they could dd no more than give 
it expression in imperia 1 decrees which were merely appeals 
ad misericordiam of the powers ; but in fact every act of 
administration ordered from Sianfu only served to accent- 
,uate the continuance of the anti-foreign and pro-Manchu 
tendencies of the court. In October it was noted that '? the 
viceroy of Nanking is being gradually surrounded by 
Manchu, instead of Chinese, officials " ; and, in the three 
provinces under his jurisdiction, two of the three governors 
and all three lieutenant-governors (treasurers) were then 
Manchus.[5] At Wuchang the other Yangtze viceroy had 
imposed on him as governor of Hupeh (his seat being also 
at Wuchang), Yuchang, the notoriously anti- foreign 
governor of Honan.[6] >It was generally felt that this 
nomination made the position of the Yangtze viceroys 
critical and jeopardised the Yangtze agreement, [7] and the 
foreign powers protested ; finally by imperial decree 
Yuchang was ordered to vacate the post to which he had 
been appointed. [8] In October the viceroy at Foochow 
was ordered to arrest all members of the reform party [9] ; 
a protest was made and the order was countermanded. [10] 
The situation of the court may be summarised in the 
following phrases — " Their majesties, being in the power of 
the reactionary ministers, must proceed with caution " [11] ; 

[5] Consul Warren to Lord Salisbury, Shanghai, Oct. 6th, 1900, China, 
No. 5, 1901, p. 7. 

[6] North-China Herald, Oct. 24th, 1900. 

[7] Ibid., Oct. 31st, 1900. 

[8] Sir E. Satow to Lord Lansdowne, Nov. 23rd, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 105. 

[9] Consul Warren to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 24th, 1900, ibid., p. 49. 

[10] Sir E. Satow to same, Oct. 30th, 1900, ibid., p. 55. 

[11] Viceroy Chang Chih-tung, quoted by consul Fraser, Oct. 6th, 1900, 
ibid., p. 89. 


" the court at Sianfu is completely dominated by Tung 
Fu-siang " [12] ; " the empress dowager is under the 
thumb of Tung Fu-siang — she is like a man riding a tiger 
— he dares not get off for fear the tiger will turn and rend 

§ 3. Li Hung-chang's slow progress north delayed the 
Chinese overtures, [14] even if the officials then available 
had been ready to make them, or were at all aware of the 
seriousness of the position in which China stood. [15] Ever 
after, on October 15th, the first steps were taken, the powers 
and' their envoys could come to no decision : before agreeing 
with the Chinese plenipotentiaries, they had first to come 
to an agreement among themselves. [16] Russia and 
Germany stood for two opposing policies. The Russian 
envoy, in accordance with the Russian declaration, left 
Peking on September 29th ; but, as none of the other 
powers followed his example, he returned on October 21st ; 
and the new German envoy delayed his arrival until he 
could have the backing of Count von Waldersee and his 
force. [17] The indecision of the concert of powers was 
clearly manifest to one observer — " I have been hard at 
work here ever since the middle of August, but all I have 
to show for it is a couple of Chinese plenipos waiting for 
the powers to make up their minds as to what they will 
demand from China. "[18] 

§ 4. After the American note of July 3rd, the French 

[12] North-China Herald, Nov. 28th, 1900. 

[13] Ibid., Nov. 21st, 1900. 

[14] "It is a pity the prince did not go in for negotiation J at once ; 
had he done so, or had Li hurried up, we could have got our train started 
before the Germans, by their ' punishment first, negotiation afterwards ' 
note, destroyed the line."— R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Sept. 28th, 1900. 

[i5] " One thing is curious : I don't think any of the officials have an 
adequate idea of the gravity of the situation or of the seriousness of the 
offence, or of the change events have made in China's standing, and posi- 
tion." — Same to same, Oct. 8th, 1900. 

[16] " Ministers are consulting, and when they agree in their demands, 
probably this week, they'll see Prince Ching and Li." — Same to same, 
Oct. 28th, 1900. 

" Negotiations not begun here yet. Ministers are t^ing to come to 
an agreement among themselves first." — Same to same, Oct. 31st, 1900. 

[17] " As to people's ideas and policy, I can't make any of them out : 
the Russians by their departure suggest one set of ideas, and the Germans 
by their late arrival another." — Same to same, Oct. 6th, 1900. 

" De Giers [Russian envoy] arrived : Germans expected this week — 
must follow the Russian lead, 1 fancy." — Same to same, Oct. 21st, 190Q. 

[18] R. Hart to A. D. Drew, Dec. 5th, 1900. 


government had proposed a via media [19] ; now, after 
the German note of September 18th,[20] a French note of 
October 4th submitted the following points as bases of the 

1°. Punishment of the principal culprits to be designated by 
the envoys of the powers at Peking. 

2°. Maintenance of the prohibition of import of arms. 

3°. Equitable indemnities for states, societies and individuals. 

4°. Formation at Peking of a permanent guard for the legations. 

5°. Dismantling of the forts at Taku. 

6°. Military occupation of two or three points on the road from 
Peking [21] to Taku, which would thus be always open for the lega- 
tions to reach the sea, or for forces from the sea with the capital as 
their objective point. 

The French government thought it " impossible that, 
presented collectively by the representatives of the powers 
and supported by the presence of the international troops, 
such legitimate conditions as these should not speedily be 
accepted by the Chinese government. "[22] 

§ 5. On the second and third^ of these proposals there 
was no dispute. The allies must exercise their power 
to prevent China, whether the administration or disahected 
bodies, from obtaining war material to be used against 
them ; and all the powers were agreed in demanding 
substantial indemnities, as compensation for great losses 
actually incurred, and as reimbursement of the exceedingly 
heavy military expense to which they had been put. The 
fourth was not objected to in principle ; but the American 
government noted that it was " unable to make any per- 
manent engagement of this nature without the authorisa- 
tion of the legislative branch," pointing out, however, 
that it had M stationed in Peking an adequate legation 
guard " [23] ; and Japan [24] and Russia [25] expressed 

[19] Cf. chap, ix, § 3. 

[20] Cf. chap, xi, § 23. 

[21] The British blue-book has it " Tientsin to Taku," but the error 
was corrected in later despatches. The U.S. For. Rel. has it " Tientsin to 
Peking." The intention was to guard the whole route from the sea to the 

[22] Memorandum of French ambassador, Oct. 4th, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, r>. 5 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., p. 26. 

[23] Sec. State to French ambassador, Oct. 10th, 1900, U.S. For Rel., 
1901, App., p. 27. 

[24] Mr. Whitehead to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 14th, 1900, China, No. 5. 
1901, p. 34. 

[25] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Hardinge, Oct. 23t-c! 1900, ibid., p. 49. 


a preference for separate, national, legation guards. The 
French government accordingly modified its proposal to 
read : 

4°. Formation by each power of a permanent guard for its lega- 
tion at Peking.[26] 

The fifth was not disputed, except that the American 
government reserved its opinion. [27] On the sixth the 
American government made the same objection as to the 
fourth ; while the powers generally thought it inadvisable 
to guard the road by an international force, and preferred 
that each power should hold a fort of its own within reach 
of the sea. [28] This was then modified to read — 

6°. Military occupation of certain points, to be determined by 
agreement between the powers, with a view to keeping the road 
always open, etc. [29] 

§ 6. The punishment of the guilty had been accepted 
as one of the bases for negotiation ; but the German note 
had also been accepted in principle, by France [30] as well 
as by some others ; and, as punishment constituted the 
whole of the German note, and was only a clause in 
the French note, the concert of powers naturally gave the 
German note the right of way. A long delay occurred 
before any negotiations on the other demands were opened 
with the Chinese plenipotentiaries, but punishment was 
taken in hand forthwith. The imperial decree of Septem- 
ber 25th [31] professed to inflict punishments, which it 
professed were severe, on those. who, it professed, were the 
most guilty. The decree was criticised for the reasons 
that " the punishments are grossly inadequate ; titles of 
nobility can easily be restored, and it is not uncommon 
for a Chinese officer to be degraded, and soon thereafter 
to be reinstated or promoted, to a higher place " ; and the 
omission of the names of Yiihsien and Tung Fu-siang, 

[26] Same to Sir E. Monson, Oct. 17th, 1900, ibid., p. 41. 
[27] Sec. State to French ambassador, Oct. 10th, 1900, ubi sup. 
[28] Lord Salisbury to Sir E. Monson, Oct. 11th, to Mr. Hardinge, 
Oct. 23rd, 1900, China, No. 5, 1901, pp. 24, 49. 

[29] Same to Sir E. Monson, Oct. 17th, 1900, ibid., p. 41. 

[30] Sir E. Monson to Lord Salisbury, Oct*. 7th, 1900, ibid., p. 8. 

[31] Cf. chap, xi, § 36. 


" who were the worst of all," was especially noted. [32] 
The British envoy reported that, " although this decree 
does not in itself prove that the throne has either the will 
or the power to inflict adequate punishment, it may be 
accepted as a step in the right direction. "[33] The Chinese 
official view was that enough had been done, and that 
negotiations might now begin' [34] ; but this was not the 
opinion of the foreign envoys at Peking. [35] 

§ 7. A decree of October 19th forbade the degraded 
nobles to continue their attendance at court, and dismissed 
Yuhsien from his office of governor of Shansi [36] — a 
measure quite inadequate to satisfy foreign expectations. 
The envoys at Peking, on October 27th, unanimously 
agreed that " the punishment of death should be demanded 
for eleven officials ..." viz., Prince Twan, Prince Chwang, 
Puching Prince of Yi, the two beilehs Tsailien and Tsaiying, 
Duke Lan, Tung Fu-siang, Yuhsien, Kangyi, Chao Shu- 
kiao and Yingnien.[37] A proposal that these officials 
should be decapitated at Peking, in the presence of delegates 
of the powers, was considered, but it was decided to leave 
the execution and manner of the death penalty to the 
Chinese government. The Chinese plenipotentiaries urged 
the powers to " appreciate the most difficult position in 
which China is now placed and be lenient in the demand 
[for the death penalty,] to open negotiations, to suspend 
military operations and to withdraw the troops/ 1 [38] 
This met no response, and the court moved so far as to 
issue, on November 13th, an imperial decree by which 
Prince Twan and Prince Chwang were to be deprived of 
office and rank, and imprisoned for life ; Prince Yi and 
Tsaiying imprisoned for life ; Tsailien deprived of his 
hereditary rank; Duke Lan and Yingnien degraded; 

[32] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Oct. 4th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 39. 

[33] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 3rd, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 7. 

[34] Chinese envoy to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 6th ; Sir C. MacDonald to 
same, Oct. 13th, 1900, ibid., pp. 18, 38. 

[35] Sir C. MacDonald to same, Oct. 9th, 1900, ibid., p. 22. 

[36] Sir E. Satow to same, Oct. 26th, 1900, ibid., p. 52. 

[37] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Oct. 27th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 43. 

[38] Plenipotentiaries to Chinese. envoys -at foreign courts, Nov. 7th, 
1900, China, No. 5, 1901, p. 82. 


Kangyi, dead, excused from punishment ; Chao Shu-kiao 
degraded but left in office ; Yiihsien banished to the 
frontier ; Tung Fu-siang's punishment reserved for further 
consideration, on account of his being in command of 
imperial troops. [39] 

§ 8. The Chinese court was indeed " riding the tiger." 
Except under the most extreme compulsion, it dared not 
inflict the death penalty on Manehu nobles of the imperial 
blood, such as Prince Twan and Duke Lan, who were among 
the most culpable [40] ; and in the attempt to save imperial 
clansmen, such as Kangyi and Yiihsien, it was driven to 
adopt customary oriental subterfuges. Kangyi was re- 
ported to have died from the hardships of the flight to 
Sianfu ; the report was taken under advisement, then 
doubted, then disbelieved, but finally accepted as true. 
Yiihsien was officially reported to have committed suicide ; 
it was even declared that " this information is perfectly 
true. "[41] Though dead, he was dismissed from his 
office [42] ; then the report of his suicide was doubted, but 
he had left the province of Shansi [43] ; he lived tp start 
on his way to banishment, and, on the way, to be over- 
taken by a decree ordering his decapitation, which was 
carried into effect. Tung Fu-siang presented the greatest 
difficulty. Commander of fifteen thousand of the most 
serviceable troops then guarding the court, and exercising 
great personal influence over the commanders of other 
troops, he was in a position to dictate his terms, and to 
refuse to submit to any sentence of punishment ; and his 
name was, for the present, dropped from discussion. [44] 

[39] Same to same, Nov. 15th, 1900, ibid., p. 91. 

[40] " I believe the German demand would obtain the punishment of all 
but members of the imperial family. I think the court would sacrifice 
Prince Chwang, for instance, but I don't believe Prince Twan or Duke Lan 
could be got without catching them, and that means a military expedition 
— to go one knows not where, to last — one knows not how long, and to 
start — one knows not how many other difficulties." — : R. Hart to E. B. 
Drew, Sept. 29th, 1900.' 

[41] Li Hung-chang to Mr. Conger, Oct. 27th, 1900, U.S. For, Rel., 
1901, App., p. 44; Chang Chih-tung to Lo Feng-lu, Oct. 25th, 1900, 
China, No. 5. 1901, p. 51. 

[42] Imp. decree, Oct. 28th, 1900, China, No. 5, 1901, p. 56. 

[43] Chang Chih-tung to consul Warren, Nov. 7th, 1900, ibid., pp. 82, 87. 

[44] Mr. Conger -wrote, " I urged my colleagues to leave his name 
out of the first demand, so that ho might carry out the imperial order for 
the execution of the others." — Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Nov. 20th, 1900, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., p. 48, 


At this stage the envoys contented themselves with re- 
cording their unanimous opinion that the terms of the de- 
cree of November 13th were " inadequate and absurd. "[45] 
§ 9. In order to get out of the diplomatic chaos, the 
powers generally were agreed that it was most important 
that the court should be induced to return to Peking with- 
out delay. The wisdom of urging this step was apparent 
to the Japanese government before the end of August [46] ; 
and by the middle of September all the envoys were agreed 
that " negotiations might be greatly facilitated if the 
emperor and empress dowager could be induced to return 
to Peking," and so be " withdrawn from the influence of 
Prince Twan and other pernicious advisers," and an in- 
formal note in that sense was sent by each envoy, except 
the German, to Prince Ching.[47] The latter replied that 
he had already written urging the court to return. [48] The 
court declared its intention of remaining at Sianfu, because 
" the capital is now occupied by foreign troops," and for 
fear of a pestilence following the " military operations " 
ill Peking [49] ; on October 18th Li Hung-chang stated 
officially that " the emperor has determined to proceed to 
Peking and expects to arrive in six weeks' time " [50] ; but 
the court itself announced in an imperial rescript that it 
would " return when the preliminaries of peace were 
settled. "[51] Then followed the military expedition to 
Paotingfu,[52] from which the Chinese troops guarding the 
city withdrew by superior order, while negotiations opened 
by General Gaselee proved fruitless. Besides punishing 

[45] Sir E. Satow to Lord Lansdowne, Nov. 19th, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 94. " The punishments are all grossly inadequate and by no 
means commensurate with the crimes." — Mr. Conger to Mr. Hav, Nov, 20th, 

1900, U.S. For. Rel., ubi sup. 

[46] Lord Salisbury to Mr. Whitehead, Aug. 30th, 1900. China, No. 1 

1901, p. 127. Cf. chap, xi, § 17. 

[47] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Sept. Kith, 1900, L T .S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 34 ; Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Sept. 25th, 1900, China, 
No. 5, 1901, p. 100. 

[48] Sir C. MacDonald, ubi sup. 

[49] Yangtze viceroys to Lo Feng-lu. Oct. 4th, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 17. 

[50] Sir C. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 18th, 1900. ibid., p. 42. 
" It is said the emperor is coming back. I hope it is true ; his return 
would simplify everything."— R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Oct. 19th, 1900. 

[51] Sheng Hsiian-hwai to consul Warren, Oct. 24th, 1900, China, 
No. 5, 1901, p. 49. 

[52] Cf. chap, xi, § 32, 


the city — for a second time — and leaving a foreign garrison, 
three of the officials were summarily executed. .These 
included the provincial treasurer, Tingyung, who, if he 
did not order, certainly permitted the massacre of the 
missionaries, and was a leader of the Boxers ; but who, 
as acting viceroy, had in August and September shown 
his repentance by protecting converts and suppressing 
Boxers. His execution was " richly deserved " [53] ; 
but Li Hung-chang sent to the envoys a formal complaint, 
" the whole tone of which is objectionable [54] ; and the 
friendly viceroy Chang Chih-tung wrote complaining 
that the execution of Chinese subjects ought to have been 
left to the Chinese authorities, suggesting that the Chinese 
people would feel a natural resentment at what they con- 
sidered an act of treachery in again punishing a once 
punished city, and urging that military expeditions should 
cease. [55] The punishment of Paotingfu " greatly fright- 
ened the court and made its early return to Peking more 
difficult and less probable " [56] ; the mouse was less 
inclined to trust itself within reach of the claws of the cat. 
§ 10. In the British legation Sir C. MacDonald was 
replaced by Sir E. Satow, carrying into effect arrangements 
made ^before the siege ; the American legation was strength- 
ened by the appointment of Mr. W. W. Rockhill as com- 
missioner of the United States [57] ; the Russian envoy 
returned ; M. Paul Beau replaced M. Pichon at the French 
legation i and the new German envoy, Dr. Mumm von 
Schwartzenstein, arrived. Before the organisation of the 
diplomatic body was complete, the Chinese plenipoten- 

[53] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Nov. 16th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 47. 

[54] Sir E. Satow to Lord Salisbury, Nov. 5th, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 82. 

[55] Chang Chih-tung to Mr. Rockhill, Nov. 11th, 1900, U.S. For. 
Rel., 1901, App., p. 46. Cf. chap, xi, n. 130. 

[56] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Nov. 16th, 1900, ibid., p. 47. 

"Everything appeared to-be going well until this promenade of 
Waldersee's to Taoping [Paotingfu], which I fear will have very unfavor- 
able results upon the rest of China." — Private letter of John Hay, Oct. 16th, 
1900, cited in Thayer, " John Hay," ii, p. 245. 

[57] " Hay sent Mr. W. W. Rockhill — whom he regarded as being, next 
to Mr. Henry White, the best diplomat in the [American] service — to 
China."— Thayer, " John Hay," ii, p. 244. 

Mr. Rockhill was envoy to China 1 905-9, ambassador to Russia 1909-11, 
ambassador to Turkey, 1911-13 ; he died in 1915. 


tiaries took the first step toward opening negotiations ; 
and, on October 15th, in an identic note to the legations, 
they submitted a draft of the preliminary convention we 
propose." By Art. 1 China recognised that the* attack 
on the legations was contrary to international law, ad- 
mitted her culpability, and gave an assurance that it 
should not occur again. By Art. 2 China admitted her 
liability to pay indemnities. By Art. 3 it was proposed 
that each foreign power should decide whether to amend 
existing commercial treaties or negotiate new treaties. 
By Art. 4 the offices and archives of the Tsungli Yamen were 
to be restored to China. Art. 5 provided that, negotiations 
having been opened, hostilities should cease forthwith. [58] 
The foreign envoys considered the proposals presumptuous, 
but the Chinese negotiators hoped that, at least, they might 
serve as a fulcrum from which to set negotiations going [59] ; 
the envoys took no steps — they had, in fact, no authority 
— to take the proposals into consideration, and they fell 
still-born. The Chinese plenipotentiaries, it was under- 
stood " from the most reliable authority," were quite 
prepared to take the proposals of the French note as the 
basis of negotiation [60] ; but the envoys were not ready 
to open the discussion ; even at a later date, only the 
Russian, Japanese and Italian envoys were authorised to 
make any communication of the bases of negotiation. [61] 
§ 11. The envoys of some of the powers held conferences 
on October 10th and 26th, and of all the powers on 
October 28th and 31st to consider the French note. [62] 

Art. 1 was made stronger by demanding capital punish- 
ment for the officials guilty of directing the attacks on the 
legations and the massacre of missionaries, especial mention 
being made of Tung Fu-siang and Yuhsien ; and by requir- 
es] SirC. MacDonald to Lord Salisbury, Oct. IGth. 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 39 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Oct. 19th, 1900, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 40. 

[59] " The prince and Li have sent the legations a draft convention 
for consideration : the legations think it somewhat cheeky — which I 
don't quite see ; but it has opened the ball, and, at all events, supplies 
' boxes ' to pack stipulations in, expressing regret and promising repara- 
tion."— R. Hart to E. B. Drew, Oct. 19th, 1900. 

[60] SirC. MacDonald ,to Lord Salisbury, Oct. 20th, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 44. 

[61] Sir E. Satow to same, Oct. 30th, 1900, ibid., p. 55. 
F62] Cf. antea, § 4. 


ing the publishing of an imperial decree throughout the 
empire, declaring that officials in whose districts anti- 
foreign disturbances occurred . would be immediately 

Art. 2 was accepted as it stood. 

Art. 3 was accepted ; the American and Russian 
governments having expressed an opinion that the amounts 
of the indemnities should be referred to the Hague Tribunal, 
this was approved ; and it was thought right that com- 
pensation should be given to those Chinese who had 
suffered loss in consequence of being in the service of 

Art. 4 was modified to ensure " the right of each power 
to maintain for its legation a permanent guard " ; and it 
.was proposed to set out a legation quarter, within which 
Chinese should have no right of residence. 

Art.- 5 was extended to cover forts elsewhere than at 

Art. 6 was amended to read — " The powers may 
arrange between themselves for the military occupation 
of certain points for the maintenance of communication 
between the capital and the sea." 

Other proposals were made at the conference and 

Art. 7 provided that an imperial decree should be 
posted for two years in every district, prohibiting, under 
pain of death, membership in any anti-foreign society. 
This was adopted. 

Art. 8 — " A minister for Foreign Affairs should be 
appointed, and the Tsungli Yamen abolished." 

Art. 9 — " Relations with the court on a sensible basis 
should be established." 

These two articles were accepted in principle, but their 
formal adoption was effected later. On November 5th the 
form of reparation which should be demanded for the 
murders of Baron von Ketteler and Mr. Sugiyama was 
agreed to, on the lines proposed by the German ' and 
Japanese envoys. [63] 

§ 12. With this apparent agreement, the questions at 

[63] Sir E. Satow to Lord Salisbury, Nov. Sth, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 155 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Oct. 27th, 30th, Nov. 2nd, 1900, 
U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., pp. 43 seq. 


issue between the allied powers were, nevertheless, not yet 
fully settled. The British, American, Japanese, Russian 
and French governments " deprecated jeopardising the 
negotiations by insisting on capital punishment in the 
cases of highly placed Chinese officials w T hom the Chinese 
government might not be able to produce," and even 
expressed " grave doubts as to the possibility of enforcing 
the demand."[64] The Russian, Japanese and American 
envoys at Peking believed it '•* impossible at present to 
secure the death penalty " for the members of the imperial 
family, Prince Twan and Duke Lan [65] ; the American 
envoy pointed out that " Tung Fu-siang has command of 
all the troops with the court and is practically master of 
the situation,"[66] and, after he was ordered to Kansu, 
thought that " severer punishment for him may be oppor- 
tunely demanded a little later on " [67] ; and the Russian 
envoy agreed to accept the draft note only on condition 
that tc severest punishment " w r as substituted for " death 
penalty. "[68] The envoys accepted this change for the 
sake of unanimity, and so did the governments, though the 
strength of the original words was preferred by the British, 
German, Austrian and Italian governments. [69] At the 
end of February, nearly two months after the Chinese 
acceptance of the draft note, the supplementary list of 
officials designated for punishment was laid before the 
envoys ; it contained one hundred names : ten, it was 
proposed, should be executed, and the rest cashiered, some 
being also exiled. The Russian enVoy declared that his 
government was opposed to demanding of the Chinese 
further capital punishment ; the American envoy said that 
it was the president's earnest wish that the effusion of blood 
should cease, and he would be pleased if the powers would 
agree not to ask for more death sentences [70] ; and no 

[64] Lord Lansdowne to Sir E. Satow, Nov. 23rd, 1900, China, No. 5, 
1901, p. 104. 

[65] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Jan. 26th, 1901, U.S. For Bel., 1901, 
App., p. 69. 

[66] Same to same, Nov. 20th, 1900, ibid., p. 48. 

[67] Ibid., Dec. 12th, 1900, ibid., p. 55. 

[68] Ibid., Dec. 5th, 1900, ibid., p. 54. 

[69] Ibid., Dec. 5th, ubi sup. ; Lord Lansdowne to Sir E. Satow, 
Dec. 9th, 1900, China, No. 5, 1901, p. 121. 

[70] Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Hay, Feb. 28th, 1901, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 94 ; Sir C. Scott to Lord Lansdowne, March 15th, 1901, China, 
No. 6, 1901, p. 118. 


more heads were demanded from China for the siege of 
the legations, only the officials in the provinces receiving 
punishment for the massacre of missionaries. 

§ 13. Some minor points were also in dispute. The 
draft note was at first described as an " ultimatum." It 
was felt that this word implied a time limit, however, and 
the phrase was changed to ' irrevocable conditions." 
The American envoy proposed to change t irrevocable ' 
to f absolutely indispensable," on the ground that the 
former word might preclude the foreign powers themselves 
from accepting changes ; this was agreed to by the envoys 
for the sake of uniformity, but in the end the word " irre- 
vocable " was retained. The American envoy also pro- 
posed that the forts should be " dismantled," and not 
" razed," but this was not agreed to. After more dis- 
cussion, during which the American and British govern- 
ments expressed a preference for separate identic notes, 
the demands were presented, on Decembe 24th, in the 
form of a joint note.[71] It was telegraphed to Sianfu, 
and its terms were accepted by a telegraphed rescript 
dated December 26th ; and this, on the demand of "the 
envoys, was supplemented, on January 16th, by a copy 
of the note for each power, sealed with the imperial 
seal. [72] 

§ 14. The Yangtze viceroys had received an assurance 
that, in the settlement, their views would be taken into 
consideration,[73] but they had not been formally con- 
sulted. They now intervened, desiring that, " in the case 
of members of the imperial family- [Prince Twan and 
Duke Lan], perpetual oanishment should be substituted 
for the death penalty " ; pointing out that a prohibition 
of the impor 4 " of arms was not compatible with the duty 
of repressing disorder, which was imposed on the Chinese 
officials ; and putting in a plea for moderation in some 
others of the demands. They accepted the note, however, 
unconditionally, but hoped that their views would be 
taken into consideration in the final settlement. [74] The 

[71] Text in ibid., p. 59 ; ibid., p. 60. 
[72] Ibid., p. 64 ; ibid., p. 71. 
[73] Cf. chap, xi, § 15. 

[74] Sir E. Satow to Lord Lansdowne, Jan. 4th, 5th, 17th, 1901, China, 
No. 6, 1901, pp. 3, 119. 


chief plenipotentiaries, Prince Ching and Li Hung-chang, 
accompanied the final acceptance of the joint note by a 
memorandum of their observations. They agreed to press 
for severer penalties, and, as a result, the penalties accepted 
in the final protocol were ordered by imperial decrees of 
February 13th and 21st [75] ; they made the same objec- 
tion on the prohibition of the import of arms as was made 
by the viceroys ; they expressed the hope that the indem- 
nities to be claimed would accord with China's financial 
resources ; clauses relating to the murders and the desecra- 
tion of cemeteries they accepted without reservation ; 
and they asked that they might be consulted on the 
details in other matters, such as legation guards and the 
legation quarter, the razing of forts, the maintenance of 
communication with the sea, the protection of mis- 
sionaries, etc. [76] 

§ 15. The eight months next ensuing were spent in 
negotiations, not with the Chinese plenipotentiaries, but 
between the foreign powers, represented by their envoys ; 
and they are best illustrated by the final protocol itself, 
which was signed on September 7th. Their course was 
checkered by two episodes which again marked the diver 
gent aims of the powers. Foreign ministers might flatter 
themselves that they had clipped the generalissimo's 
wings [77] ; but the punitive expeditions continued during 
these negotiations [78] ; and, on February 15th, Count 
von Waldersee issued a general army order which, if he 
were not acting under the orders of his government, showed 
his contempt for the civil arm, represented by the envoys 
of the allied powers. He began — " Although the peace 
negotiations are still continued, their present course gives 
me cause to allude to the possibility of being obliged to 

[75] Cf. postea, $22. 

[70] Plenipotentiaries to envoys, Jan. 16th, 1901, China, No. 6, 1901, 
pp: 14. 122 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., p. 66. 

[77] " The success we had in stopping that first preposterous German 
movement [note of Sept. 1 8th] when the whole world seemed likely +o join 
in it, when the entire press of the continent, and a great many on this side 
were in favor of it. will always be a source of gratification. The moment 
we acted, the rest of the world paused, and finally came Over to our ground ; 
and the German government, which is generally brutal but seldom silly, 
recovered its senses, climbed down off its perch. . . ." — John Hay to an 
intimate friend, Oct. 16th, 1900, Thayer," '• John Hay," ii, p. 246. 

[78] Cf. chap, xi, § 33. 


resume very soon active military operations on a large 
scale " — and he then " requested " that preparations be 
made and equipment be prepared for a movement u toward 
the end of this month. "[79] The British commander and 
envoy, but not the British . government, approved [80] ; 
the American commander did not approve, and the 
American envoy protested. He noted a " constant dis- 
position on the part of most of the military commanders 
to do something or go somewhere with their troops upon 
the flimsiest of excuses " ; and he made his protest " not 
so much against this particular proposed movement 
[Sianfu being the supposed objective] as against the 
assumed right of any independent action which might 
endanger the success of negotiations. "[81] 

§ 16. Russia, having established herself in Manchuria, [82] 
proceeded to consolidate her position. The existence of 
an alleged convention between Russia and China regarding 
southern Manchuria was first made kn nvn by the Times' 
correspondent in Peking, Dr. Morrison, in a telegram of 
December 31st. [83] The British envoy at Peking had 
" little doubt of the authenticity " of the convention, but 
added that " ratification at Peking is not likely to take 
place. "[84] It appears that, after the hostilities of 
October, the Chinese commander asked for an armistice ; 
but the Russian authorities reiused, except on condition 
that " the arsenals and all munitions of war should be sur- 
rendered." Subsequently, on November 11th, a conven- 
tion was signed at Port Arthur, by which the Chinese 
were to " see that no resistance was offered to the construc- 
tion of the railway " [from Harbin to Port Arthur], and 
were to furnish supplies for the Russian guards ; they were 
to disband their troops and surrender all munitions ; forts 
in southern Manchuria not occupied by the Russians were 
to be dismantled, but the Chinese were to maintain a gen- 

[70] Text in U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App.,p. 92 ; China, No. 6, 1901, p. 78. 

[80] Gen. Gaseleo to Lord G. Hamilton, Sir E. Satow to Lord Lans- 
downe, Feb. 18th, Lord Lansdowne to Sir F. Lascelles, Feb. 19th, 1901, 
China, No. 6, 1901. pp. 75, 77, 79. 

[81] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Feb. 21st, 1901, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 91. 

[82] Cf. chap, xi, §§ 37, 38. 

[83] Times, Jam. 3rd, 1901. 

[84] Sir E. Satow to Lord Lansdowne, Jan. 2nd, 4tb. Feb. 5th, 1901, 
China, No. 6, 1901, pp. 3, 37, 72. 


darmerie for police purposes ; ' ' Yingkow and other places " 
occupied by the Russians were to be administered by them 
until they " shall be completely satisfied as to the pacifica- 
tion of the country " ; and " the Tartar-General must give 
the Russian Resident at Mukden full information respecting 
any important measure he may make. "[85] 

§ 17. The Russian government denied the existence 
of the alleged agreement. [86] and so did the Chinese [87] ; 
but it was reported that negotiations were proceeding at 
St- Petersburg for the modification of this non-existing 
convention,[88] and, in February, that Russia was insisting 
on its immediate ratification. [89] Then the Russian 
government declared that the arrangements made were 
" purely of the temporary character of a modus vivendi" 
and did not constitute an international convention. [90] 
Notwithstanding this disclaimer of any ambitious views, 
the American, British, German and Japanese governments 
warned the Chinese government that the conclusion of 
separate treaties with any one of the powers would be a 
source of danger to China. [91] The Chinese government 
had denied the existence of the agreement, but the viceroy 
at Wuchang produced a summary of it and asked how far 
England would support China in refusing to ratify it [92] ; 
and the Chinese throne appealed to England, America, 
Japan and Germany for their conjoint mediation. [93] The 
Russian government refused to communicate the official 
text of the agreement or to discuss it, and declared that, 
if the powers showed distrust of the Russian assurance 
given in August, " Russia would take care to safeguard her 

[85] Text of Russo-Chinese Convention ; explanatory letter, Chow 
Mien to Li Hung-chang, Nov. 11th, 1900 ; ibid., pp. 72, 73. 

[86] Sir C. Scott to Lord Lansdowne, Jan. 6th, Lord Lansdowne to 
Sir C. MacDonald, Jan. 12th, 1901, ibid., pp. 4, 11. 

[87] Chinese envoy to Lord Lansdowne, Jan. 15th, 1901, ibid., p. 13. 

[88] Sir E. Satow to same, Jan. 6th, Sir C. Scott to same, Jan. 22nd, 
ibid., pp. 4. 29. 

[89] Sir E. Satow to same, Feb. 5th, 1901, ibid., p. 37. 

[90] Sir C. Scott to same, Feb. 6th, 1901, ibid., p. 39. 

[91] Lord Lansdowne ,---- Sir C. MacDonald, Feb. ^^' Sir E. Satow 
from 1 5th, 

to Lord Lansdowne, March 23rd, 1901, ibid., pp. 41, 107 ; Mr. Hay to 

Mr. Conger, Dec. 6th, 1901, U.S. ForRel., 1902, p. 271. 

[92] Sir E. Satow to Lord Lansdowne, Feb. 27th, 1901, China, No. 6, 
1 90 1 , p. 90. 

[93] Imp. decree, Feb. 28th, 1901, ibid., p. 93. 


own interests."[94] The light of publicity having been 
thrown on the transaction, Russia now found it necessary 
to make considerable modifications in the agreement, all 
in a sense favorable toChina,[95] and even to refrain from 
pressing for a definite convention [96] ; but, none the less, 
the Russian grip on Manchuria tightened, [97] and two 
years later the situation there was to become an important 
factor in the international relations of the Chinese empire. 
§ 18. Separate action of another kind was also taken, 
but it was of a nature to reconcile the divergent aims of 
the powers. Two subjects were likely to excite the selfish 
aims of each of the powers, the indemnities to be paid for 
actual damage and for military expenses, and the revision 
of the commercial treaties ; the Russian and American 
governments had been in favour of referring to the Hague 
Tribunal the settlement of the indemnities [98] ;. and now, 
in January, the American government proposed that these 
two subjects should be removed from the heated and 
biased atmosphere of Peking, where their settlement 
" would be extremely difficult," to Washington or any 
other capital of the allied powers. [99] The other powers 
generally felt that the expert knowledge of the envoys at 
Peking was essential in any discussion on these matters, 
and that the transfer of the negotiations to another capital 
would cause delay and was inadvisable ; and the proposal 
was at once withdraw r . [100] One more attempt was 
made to restrain the powers in their demands for indem- 
nities. In February and again at the end of March the 
American envoy at Peking proposed, for the amount of the 
indemnities, "the adoption of a lump sum which should be 
within the ability of China to pay, and, as this would 
evidently be not sufficient to pay the demands in full, 

[94] SirC. Scott to Lord Lansdowne, March 7th. 11th, 13th, 1901, ibid., 
pp. 113, 116. 117. 

[95] Sir E. Satow to same, March 1 7th, 19th, Sir C. Scott to same, 
April 5th, 1901, ibid., pp. 131, 134, 168. 

[96] Lord Lansdowne to Sir C Scott, April 5th, 1901, ibid., p. If 9. 

[97] " What mean those July proclamations ? Is the Russian grip 
hardening and spreading, and did any changes thereon follow ? " — R. Hart 
to C. A. V. Bowra, Aug. 21st, 1901. 

[98] Cf. antea, § 11. 

[99] Mr. Choate to Lord Lansdowne, Jan. 4th, 1901, China, No. 6, 
1 90 1 , p. 2. 

[100] Lord Lansdowne to Sir E. Satow, Jan. 11th, 1901, ibid., p. 10. 


each power would have to agree to a scaling down pro- 
portionate to their claims." This proposal was not at 
all well received by his colleagues, none of them favoring 
it except the Japanese. [101] 

§ 19. There was not much negotiation with the Chinese 
plenipotentiaries, who had perforce to accept such terms 
as were offered ; but there was much negotiation between 
the allied powers, and at times fears were felt that no 
settlement was possible. [102] The negotiations between 
the allies were carried through by a sort of " log-rolling " : 
on some subjects, such as the death penalties, the minimum 
demands were, for the sake of unanimity, accepted by those 
who preferred more severe punishment ; on others, such 
as the indemnities, each power was allowed to prefer its 
own claim without check ; and the final protocol [103] 
was signed on September 7th, 1901, eleven months after 
the first formulation of the allied demands The protocol 
was signed by the plenipotentiaries of China, Yikwang, 
Prince of th 1st rank Ching,[104] and earl Li Hung-chang, 
and by the plenipotentiaries of the foreign powers, as 
follows : 

Germany : A. Mumm von Schwartzenstein. 

Austria-Hungary : M. Czikann von Wahlborn. 

Belgium : M. Joostens. * 

Spain : B. J. de Cologan (doyen). 

United States of America : W. W. Rockhill. 

France : Paul Beau. 

Great Britain : Sir Ernest Satow. 

Italy : Marquis Salvago Raggi. 

Japan : Jutaro Komura. 

Netherlands : F. M. Knobel. 

Russia : M. de Giers. 

[101] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, Feb. 18th, Mr. Rockhill to snie, 
March 29th. 1901, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., pp. 86, 121. 

[1C2] "I fully recognise the extent of the difficulties with which you 
have had to contend and your success in surmounting so many of them, 
and I congratulate you heartily on the termination of this important phase 
of the negotiations." — Lord Lansdowne to Sir E. Satow, Sept. 7th, 1901, 
China, No. 1, 1902, p. 236. 

[103] Text in Treaties, i, p. Ill- China, No. 1, 1902, p. 237; U.S. For. 
Rel., 1901, App., p. 306. 

[104] By others than British and American, this prince's title, Ch'ing, 
is romanised as K'ing. 


Of the nations having treaties with China, Norway, Sweden, 
Denmark, Portugal, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and Korea were 
not represented ; and of the protocol powers, Belgium, 
Spain and the Netherlands had taken no part in the relief 
of the legations or in the military operations afterwards. 

§ 20. Art. 1 provided ;or the reparation due for the 
murder of Baron von Ketteler. An imperial prince, 
Tsaifeng [105] Prince of the 1st rank Chun, had left Peking 
on July 12th to express in person to the German emperor 
the regret of the Chinese emperor and government for the 
assassination. This regret was also to be expressed by an 
inscription, in Latin, German and Chinese, on a monument 
to be erected at the scene of the murder, and by a monu- 
mental arch the whole width of the wide street on which it 

§ 21. Art. 2 recited the punishments for the Boxer 
atrocities. By imperial decrees of February 13th and 21st 
the following punishments were inflicted on " the principal 
authors of the outrages and crimes committed." The 
princes of the blood, Prince Twan and Duke Lan, were 
sentenced to be tried and executed ; but it was agreed [106] 
that the emperor might commute this to exile to Turkestan 
(Sinkiang) and imprisonment for life. [107 1 no further com- 
mutation being permitted. The Manchus Prince Chwang 
and Yingnien, and the Chinese minister Chao Shu-kiao.[108] 
were condemned to commit suicide. Yiihsien, Kisiu and 
Hsu Cheng-yu were condemned to death by decapitation. 
Posthumous degradation was inflicted on Kangyi, Hsu 
Tung and Li Ping-heng, this degradation having " the same 
effect and legal consequences as would have been pro- 
duced if they had been condemned to death," including 
confiscation of their estates. [1C9] Tung Fu-siang, who 
could not then be touched, was deprived of his command 
4 pending the determination of the final punishment to 
be inflicted on him." In addition an imperial decree had 

[105"| Born brother of the emperor. 

[106] Conference of plenipotentiaries, Feb. 5th : Sir E. Satow to Lord 
Lansdowne, Feb. 6th, 1901, China, No. 6, 1901, p. 160 ; Mr. Conger to Mr. 
Hay, Feb. 7th, U.S. For Rel., 1901, App., p. 71. The punishments £ettled 
at this conference were those ultimately adopted. 

[107] Cf. chap, vi, § 22. 

[108] Cf. chap, viii, § 28. 

[109] Conference of plenipos. Feb. 5th, ubi sup. 


rehabilitated the memories of Hsu Yung-yi, Lishan, Hsu 
Ching-cheng, Lienyuen and Yuen Chang. 

§ 22. The punishment of* the culpable officials in the 
provinces was less easy. Much of the proof was on hear- 
say evidence through Chinese channels, and the Chinese 
plenipotentiaries availed themselves of every doubtful 
point to plead for mitigation. The Russian envoy was 
instructed not to insist on any more capital punishments, 
and he abstained from sharing in any demand for further 
penalties. The American government was opposed to 
calling for more death penalties, but was resolute in requir- 
ing proper punishment; Mr. Rockhill succeeded in per- 
suading his colleagues to reduce their demand for heads 
from ten to four, these four being notoriously active in 
the slaughter of missionaries. He then joined his col- 
leagues in demanding and insisting on a total of 96 punish- 
ments, viz. — 4 death penalty, 11 sentence of death, com- 
muted to perpetual exile, 13 exile for life, 4 imprisonment 
for life, 2 imprisonment for a term of years, 5§ cashiered 
for life, 2 censure, 2 posthumous degradation. Owing 
to his advanced age, seventy years, the penalty on 
the governor of Chekiang was commuted from exile to 
cashiering, but other pleas in mitigation were re- 

§ 23. The literate class, the gentry of China, were 
normally the leaders in any anti-foreign movement ; they 
were recruited through the examinations, and the examina- 
tions provided the gateway for their entrance into public 
life. By Art. 2 (b) they were struck at by the issue, on 
August 19th, of an imperial decree ordering " the suspension 
of official examinations for five years in all cities where 
foreigners were massacred or submitted to cruel treat- 
ment." Forty-five cities were enumerated ; six in Man- 
churia, twelve in Chihli, twenty-two in Shansi, two in 
Honan, one in Hunan, one in Shensi, one in Chekiang. 

§ 24. Art. 3 provided for the despatch of Natung as 
envoy extraordinary to express to the emperor of Japan 
regret for the murder of Mr. Sugiyama. 

§ 25. Art. 4 provided for the erection of an expiatory 
monument in each cemetery which had been desecrated. 

TllO] Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Hay, April 2nd, June 5th, 1901, U.S. For. Rel.. 
1901, App., pp. 123, 192. 


To provide the cost the Chinese government had already- 
paid a lurrip sum based on an estimate of Tls. 10,000 for 
the Peking cemeteries and Tls. 5000 for those in the pro- 
vinces. The sum of Tls. 70,000 was paid for seven at and 
near Peking (one British, five French, one Russian) [111]; 
but the amount paid for those in the provinces is not on 

§ 26. Art. 5 prohibited the importation of arms and 
war material for two years, until August, 1903. During 
the Boxer hostilities all the powers were agreed, but, in 
time, to some the loss of a profitable trade loomed larger 
than the restraint on rebellion and disorder, and it was 
clearly seen that the later co-operation of all was a vain 
dream. A solution was found, to the general relief, by 
asking the Chinese government to undertake the enforce- 
ment of the prohibition. A term, of two years was set, 
the prohibition to be then renewed for another two years ; 
but it was considered " very unlikely that a renewal will 
be asked for."[112] 

§ 27. Art. 6 related to the indemnities. America 
and Russia had proposed that all claims should be referred 
for settlement to the Arbitral Court at the Hague, but this 
was not accepted by the other powers. The American 
envoy then urged that a demand for a lump sum, within 
China's ability to pay, should be made, and that the claims 
of each power should be scaled down to fit this sum ; he 
estimated this sum at £50,000,000, which was sufficient to 
justify a demand for an indemnity of £40,000,000. The 
Russian and French envoys preferred to await the report 
of the sub- committee before discussing the proposal. 
The Japanese envoy " believed that the powers might 
have to consider a reduction of the indemnity ; that, 
while common principles had been accepted by most of 
the powers for assessing private claims, no such principles, 
so far as he knew, had been applied to assessing war 
expenses. "[113] The German envoy " saw no reason why 
the powers should show excessive generosity in the matter " 
of cutting down claims [114] ; the " position of Germany on 

[111] Same to same Aug. 8th, 1901, ibid. r p. 296. 

[112] Ibid., Aug. 8th, 1901, ibid., p. 297. 

[113] Ibid., April 23rd, 1901, ibid., p. 141. 

[114] Ibid., loc. cit. 


the question of the indemnity was most uncompromising," 
and her representative rejected all proposals for any reduc- 
tion. [115] The British envoy at first expressed the opinion 
of his government that the demand should not exceed a 
reasonable amount<[116]; but later, owing to "the urgent 
necessity for England to maintain her entente with Ger- 
many in China," she made " numerous concessions to 
German insistence on being paid the last cent of her 
expenses. "[117] This American plea for moderation, there- 
fore, also failed. 

§ 28. A committee to consider the extent of the financial 
resources of the Chinese government had been sitting since 
March 23rd, consisting of the German, French, British and 
Japanese envoys. It had to deal with the finances of an 
empire of which, according to the best information obtain- 
able, the annual budget showed reported receipts under 
Tls; 100,000,000, while the reported expenditure was over 
Tls. 110,000,000. During its sittings it received verbal 
testimony or written communications from Sir R. Hart, 
Sir E. Satow, Mr. Guy Hillier, Mr. Pokotiloff, Mr. Rump, 
Mr. Alfred E. Hippisley, Mr. Komura, M. Augustin,- all 
experts well qualified to express an opinion ; and it con- 
sidered the question in conference with delegates of the 
Chinese plenipotentiaries. The problem before the com- 
mittee was partly to indicate sources of increased revenue, 
and partly to divert to the service of the indemnity a portion 
of the, large sums which were actually collected from the 
people, but which were retained by the tax collectors and 
their patrons, by the mandarinate of the empire ; and, on 
May 1st, it presented a report dealing with every suggestion, 
and on it the final settlement was based. [118] The com- 
mittee estimated that, from certain specified sources, the 
revenue could be increased by about Tls. 18,000,000, while 
the national claims handed in amounted to about 
£67,500,000, or about Tls. 450,000,000. [119] 

[116] Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Hay, May 25£h, 1901, ibid., p. 175. 

[116] Same to same, April 23rd, 1901, ubi sup. 

[117] Ibid., May 25th, 1901, ubi sup! 

[118] Proces-verbaux de la Commission chargee d'etudier la question 
du paiement des Indemnites,' privately printed for the information of the 
foreign envoys. The report alone, in U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., p. 146; 
China, No. 1, 1902, p. 147 

[119] Though the amount of the indemnity was expressed in taels as. 


§ 29. The envoys accordingly demanded a lump sum 
for indemnities amounting to Tls. 450,000,000, and this was 
accepted by an imperial decree of May 29th. Interest at 
4 per cent, was to be paid from July 1st, 1901 ; amortisa- 
tion was to commence January 1st, 1902, and to end 
December 31st, 1940 ; and both principal and interest were 
to be paid in gold by annual payments which, calculated 
at a fixed exchange, would amount to Tls. 18,829,500 in 
1902, Tls. 19,899,300 from 1911, Tls. 23,383,300 in 1915, 
Tls. 24,483,800 from 1916, and Tls. 35,350,150 from 1932 
until the end ; the whole £ $ *.ount so payable for principal 
and interest being Tls. % 82,238,150. A proportionate 
amount was to be paid monthly to a commission of bankers, 
one representing each of the interested powers ; and to 
socure these payments certain revenues were assigned, 
viz. 1°. the balance of the maritime customs revenue, plus 
the proceeds of raising the existing tariff on foreign imports 
to an effective 5 per cent. ; 2°. the native customs at each 
open port, to be administered by the maritime customs ; 
3°. the balance of the salt revenue. In consideration of the 
re-adjustment of the customs tariff, it was agreed that, 
" the t channel of the Peiho and of the Hwangpu shall be 
improved with the financial participation of China." 

§ 30. No common principle had been accepted in assess- 
ing the amounts claimed for war expenses, and the figures 
submitted by each, government were subjected to no 
critical examination. The public and private claims of 
each power, as estimated to July 1st, and as finally settled 
in the protocol, were as shown on opposite page. [120] 
Private claims duplicated on the lists of two legations 

the one currency common to all the powers, it was declared to be a " gold 
debt " calculated at the following fixed rates : 

1 tael = English, 3*0 shillings. 
German, 3 '055 marks. 
Austro-Hungarian, 3 '595 crowns. 
American, 0'742 dollar. 

French, Italian, Spanish, Belgian, 3*750 francs. 
Japanese, 1'407 yen. 
Netherlands, 1*796 florin. 
Russian, 1'412 gold rouble. 

[120] Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Hay, June 8th, 1901, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 225. 

The total of the estimate to July 1st is as given in the despatch and in 
the report of the commission. 




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were stated to amount to Tls. 4,000,000, and other private 
claims were supposed to be susceptible of considerable 
reduction ; and the commission on indemnities was " of 
opinion that the sum of 450,000,000 taels would not be 
exceeded up to July 1st, 1901. "[121] The American 
government, in harmony with its previously declared pre- 
ference for a lump sum, announced at an early stage that 
the American claim would be for U.S. $25,000,000, to 
include both public and private claims, and that it would 
"remain unchanged irrespective of the duration of the 
military operations " [122] ; and, in 1908, a portion of this 
indemnity was remitted to China, on condition that the 
money so remitted should be devoted to education.[123] 
On the above table it may be noted that the Russian and 
German claims were together nearly as great as the total 
of the other six allied powers, with France a good third ; 
and that the public claim of Italy was disproportionate to 
her military effort. The Belgian claim was, for the most 
part, for damage done to the Peking-Hankow railway. 
It is probable that the future historian will subject the 
figures to a more critical scrutiny than is possible to-day. 
§ 31. By Art. 7 China agreed that " the quarter occu- 
pied by the legations shall be considered as one specially 
reserved for their . use and placed under their exclusive 
control, in which Chinese shall not have the right to reside, 
and which may be made defensible"; and she "recog- 
nised the right of each power to maintain a permanent 
guard for the defence of its legation." A military com- 
mission appointed to consider the question proposed that 
each power should maintain the force given below [124] : 





, 250 

2 to 4 

. 6 to 8 


. 250 



Germany . 

. 300 . 

5 to 6 


Great Britain 

250 . 


. 4 to 6 


200 . 




400' . 

4 to 6 


Russia . . . 

350 . 



United States . 

100 . 


. 2 to 3 

[121] Letter of chairman, in ibid. 

[122] Committee on indemnities, sitting of March 25th, 1901 ; Mr. 
Rockhill to Mr. Hay, May 29th, 1901, U.S. For Rel., 1901, App., p. 181. 

[123] The condition was proposed by Mr. Rockhill, then American 
envoy at Peking. 

[124] U.S. For. Rel., 1901, App., p. 84. 


The British envoy proposed scaling these forces down to a 
maximum of 200 men each for five powers and 50 to 100 
men for each of the other three (Austria, Italy and 
America) ; but Germany was building barracks for 300 
men and her envoy thought it would be inconvenient for 
the governments if the limits were reduced. [125] General 
Chaffee had considered one company sufficient for the 
American guard, and the envoy considered that '■ is 
no valid reason to be found in the state of the country to 
double it at present," and that " it would be impolitic to 
do so, especially as some of the other powers might be dis- 
posed to avail themselves of the fact to increase their 
already large guards. "[126] 

§ 32. The legation quarter may be considered as the 
provision of a defensible fortress in the heart of the capital 
of a hostile power — for which purpose it was much too 
large ; or as the happy grasping of the opportunity to 
provide spacious quarters for the diplomatic representa- 
tives of the powers, in park-like surroundings, free from 
the old-time insanitary conditions, and at the cost of China 
— and in that case it was not justified. The quarter set 
apart was a solid block, approximately 1200 metres from 
east to west, and 650 metres from north to south, with an 
area of about 200 acres ; around this was an open space 
40 metres wide, carrying the quarter on the north to a 
distance of 100 metres from the wall of the Imperial City, 
and on the south including the wall of the Tartar City with 
its projecting bastions. On the west the ministries of War, 
Works and Justice were partly, and the imperial Carriage 
Park was wholly, taken in, but on the north the Hanlin 
(Imperial Academy) was not included. [127] The British 
legation was extended to the west, its- area increased three- 
fold, from 12 to 36 acres. The Russian legation was also 
extended to the west, increased four- fold, from 5 acres to 
19 acres. The American area was extended for the guard, 
but the legation itself was nearly unaltered ; it reached, 
cut into by other premises, from the Tsienmen to the Water 

[125] Sir E. Satow to Lord Lansdowne, March 20th, 1901, China, No. 6, 
1901, p. 136. 

[126] Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Hay, March 8th, 1901, U.S. For. Rel., App., 
p. 101. 

[127] See map. 


Gate, thus — U.S. parade ground, U.S. guard, Netherlands 
legation, U.S. legation, Russo-Chinese Bank, Banque de 
Plndo-Chine, U.S. legation students — and it carried with 
it the duty of guarding 700 metres of the Tartar City Wall. 
Germany grasped the opportunity and extended her lega- 
tion area from 2 J to 25 J acres, undertaking at the same 
time to guard 800 metres of the Tartar City Wall. The 
French legation was extended from 6 to 20 acres, being 
now entirely covered by other legations, and having no 
longer a front to guard. The Austrian legation exchanged 
its previous area of less than 2 acres for an area of 10 acres, 
from which to superintend political and commercial interests 
in China which were of small importance. The old Italian 
legation, sufficient for the small Italian interests, measured 
one acre, and Italy now claimed a new area of 12| acres. 
In it were included the offices of the Inspectorate General 
of Customs and the houses of the Inspector General and of 
the Inspectorate Secretaries ; but some at least of the 
powers were deeply concerned at this disturbance of a semi- 
foreign Chinese department,[128] and, on representations 
being made, the Italian envoy made some abatement of his 
claim ; he still retained his hold on the offices and houses 
of the staff, but he restored to Sir R. Hart his house and a 
part of its grounds, giving also for customs use his old lega- 
tion ; but he demanded as compensation some land formerly 
destined for France. By this readjustment the Italian 
area was 10 acres. A further portion of the land of the 
Inspectorate of Customs was taken for the International 
Club ; but within the legation quarter the customs received, 
in five pieces, a total of about 11 acres. The Japanese 
legation expanded so as to include the whole of the Suwang 
Fu, which its guards had so gallantly defended, thereby 
inceasing its area from one acre to 14 \ acres. The Nether- 
lands legation remained in its old site, increasing its area 
four- fold, to 2 acres ; it had been suggested that, as it did 
not share in the defence of the Tartar City wall, it should be 
removed from its vicinity,[129] but the suggestion was not 
acted on. Belgium received a site within the legation 

[128] Lord Lansdowne to Sir E. Satow, Feb. 23rd, 1901, China, No. 6, 
1901, p: 88 ; Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Hay, Feb. 26th, 1901, U.S. For. Rel., 
1901, App., p. 93. 

[129] Report of military commission, ibid., p. 84. 




quarter, double the size of its old site on the Hatamen 
Street. The Spanish legation was extended to about 
2 acres. 

§ 33. By Art. 8 China agreed to raze the forts at Taku 
and " those which might impede free communication be- 
tween Peking and the sea." This was largely interpreted, 
so as to include the forts at Pehtang, Chmwangtao, and 
Shanhaikwan. The work of demolition was entrusted to 
the Tientsin Provisional Government, and was undertaken 
in a businesslike way. Contracts were made in November 
for twenty-five forts at Tientsin, Taku, Lutai, Pehtang and 
Shanhaikwan at a total cost of $177,475, and the work was 
completed in June, 1902. [130] 

§ 34. By Art. 9 the right was given to occupy certain 
points " for the maintenance of communication between the 
capital and the sea." The Chinese plenipotentiaries had 
asked that the points should be settled in accord with them, 
but all they could obtain was a recital in the protocol of 
the " points occupied by the powers " — twelve in all 
along the railway from Peking to and including Shan- 

§ 35. By Art. ID the Chinese government agreed " to 
post and to have published during two years in all district 
cities " certain imperial decrees already issued : (a) pro- 
hibiting membership in any anti-foreign society ; (b) 
enumerating the punishments inflicted on the guilty ; 
(c) prohibiting examinations in all cities where foreigners 
were massacred or subjected to cruel treatment ; (d) 
holding provincial officials personally responsible in the 
case of anti-foreign troubles or other infractions of the 

§ 36. Art. 11 referred to the negotiation of " amend- 
ments deemed necessary by the foreign governments " to 
the existing treaties ; and, with "reference to the improve- 
ment of the courses of the Peiho and Hwangpu, provided for 
in Art. 6, China agreed as follows : (a) as soon as the 
administration of Tientsin should be handed back to 
China, she was to be represented on the commission,[131] 
and was then to pay Tls. 60,000 a year for the works ; (b) 
for the Hwangpu a mixed conservancy board was to be 

[1301 T. P. G. passim. Amountsof contracts, sitting of Nov. 27th, 1901. 
[131] Cf. chap, xi, § 10. 


created, and the cost of the work, estimated at Tls. 460,000 
a year for twenty years, was to be " supplied in equal por- 
tions by the Chinese government and the foreign interests 
concerned." A set of minute " Regulations for the im- 
provement of the course of the Hwangpu " formed annex 
No. 17 to the protocol. 

§ 37. Art. 12 recited the fact that, by an imperial decree 
of July 24th, the " office of Foreign Affairs (Tsungli 
Yamen) " had been transformed into a f* ministry of 
Foreign Affairs (Waiwu Pu)," taking precedence over 
the other ministries ; and recorded an agreement on 
" court ceremonial as regards the reception of foreign 
representatives," the details of which were set forth in 
annex No. 19. 

§ 38. Finally it was declared that, for the protocol and 
such annexes as originated with the foreign envoys, " the 
French text only is authoritative " ; and the foreign powers 
agreed that, except for the legation guards, the foreign 
troops should be withdrawnfrom Peking on September 17th, 
and, w,ith the exception of the twelve places enumerated in 
Art. 9, should be withdrawn from the province of Chihli 
on September 22nd. 

§ 39. For a brief outburst of midsummer madness, 
made serious by the support of nobles and ministers, China 
had been required to pay a heavy price. She had sent 
special ambassadors, one of them of the blood imperial, to 
apologise for the foul murder of accredited envoys ; she 
had herself executed justice, by death and by degradation, 
on the highest among her ministers ; she had suspended 
the examinations, the natural opening to a career for her 
scholars ; for the expenses incurred in suppressing her 
rebellion against civilisation she had undertaken to pay a 
sum which would tie her hands for forty years ; she had 
accepted a foreign fortress and garrison in her capital, as 
the only means by which, in the opinion of the world, envoys 
accredited to her court could remain in safety ; and, 
besides other minor concessions, she had agreed to the. 
principle of revision of the treaties which* she had resisted 
in 1854 and 1856,[132] and a£ain continuously since 
1870. [133] China, after seventy years of direct relations 

[132] Cf. " Conflict," chap, xv, §§ 13-19. 
[133] Cf " Submission," chap, x, passim. 


with Western nations, had by successive steps — 1842, 
1858, 1860, 1885, 1895 — now, in 1901, reached a stage of 
national degradation so low that she still retained few of 
the attributes of a sovereign and independent state. If 
her throne was to remain intact, if her existence as a nation 
was to continue, it was clear that she must modify the pro- 
cedure she had followed from 1834 to 1900. 




1. Death of Li Hung-chang, Nov. 7, 1901 . . . .360 

2. Other happenings to Chinese officials . . . .361 

3. Deposition of Puchiin ; rehabilitation of Chang Yin-hwan ; 

Dec., 1901 .362 

4. Return of court to Peking, Jan., 1902 ; its friendly attitude 362 

5. Decision to restore Tientsin to Chinese administration . 364 

6. T.P.G. surrenders government to viceroy, Aug. 15, 1902 . 365 

7. Withdrawal of garrisons from Shanghai, 1902-3 . . 365 

8. Indemnities : British, Japanese and American claims 

moderate ........ 366 

9. Difficulty to China from fall in value of silver . . . 367 

10. Tariff revision : China's difficult position . . . 368. 

11. Revision of the commercial treaties, 1902-3 . . . 369 

12. Attempted abolition of likin throughout China . . 370 

13. Attempted reform not carried out . . . . .371 

14. Regulation of customs and trading matters . . .372 

15. Essentially British claims regulated . . . .373 

16. Full rights secured for missionaries and converts . .373 

17. Prohibition of import of morphia ..... 374 

18. Confused state of Chinese currency . . . .374 

19. China required to adopt uniform coinage, weights and 

measures ........ 375 

20. China supported in reforming judicial system . . . 376 

21. Mining regulations to be recast . . . . . .377 

22^ Protection of trade-marks, copyright and patents . .377 

23. Jurisdiction in mixed cases at Shanghai .... 378 

24. Peiho conservancy at Tientsin ..... 380 

25. Hwangpu conservancv, Shanghai ; projects of 1874, 1880, 

1899 . .' 380 

26. Scheme of 1901 under final protocol . . . .381 

27. New scheme adopted, Sept. 27, 1905 .... 382 

28. Organisation of Board of Conservancy . ... .383 

29. Funds of the Board found inadequate .... 384 

30. The Hwangpu Board of Maintenance created, April 4, 1912. 385 

31. Excellent results of the Board's work .... 385 

§ 1. The final protocol was signed on September 7th, 
1901, and, when he signed it, Li Hung-chang was a dying 
man. He died, in his seventy- ninth year, on November 7th, 
and his sovereigns recognised the greatness of their loss 



by creating him marquis and bestowing on him the highest 
posthumous honours ever accorded to a Chinese subject 
of the Manchus.[l] After the death of Wensiang in 1876, 
he had been the one statesman China possessed with a 
sound knowledge of international affairs. — " He was a 
strong man, as the order he maintained wherever he ruled 
shows ; he was a very able man, if unscrupulous ; and he 
did not live in a world of unrealities as most Chinese 
statesmen do, but he did appreciate facts, and had a good 
working knowledge of the real relation between China and 
the outside world. "[2] In the course of forty years' holding 
of high office he had accumulated a great fortune, but he 
had also accumulated a vast store of experience, which he 
used for his country's benefit, as it lay in him to see the 
benefit. In 1896 he had come to the conclusion *that no 
Western power but Russia was in a position to do China 
much mischief or to give China any effective support, and 
to secure the latter he was willing to pay the price 
demanded. [3] Part of this price was the Russo-Chinese 
Manchurian convention, and this, in an amended form, [4] 
was awaiting his signature at his death. The viceroys, his 
colleagues, were protesting against it ; the Russian envoy 
was urging its completion [5] ; but he died without signing ; 
and even in his death, by failing to carry out his latest plan, 
he served his country best. 

§ 2. A year later, on October 6th, 1902, the greater 
and sturdier of the two Yangtze viceroys, Liu Kun-yi, also 
died, at the age of seventy-four. [6] In him the Hunan party 
lost its .recognised leader, as in Li Hung-chang the Anhwei 
party ; Junglu died, at the age of sixty-seven, on 
April 11th, 1903 ; and the service of the state was left to 
be carried on by lesser men. Of these the most marked was 
Chang Chih-tung ; a distinguished scholar,[7] famed for 

[1] Tel. Peking, Nov. 8th, North-China Herald, Nov. 13th, 1901. 

[2] Edit., ibid. Cf. also a very discriminating appreciation of him in 
V. Chirol, " The Far Eastern Question," p. 25; and in Bland " Li Hung- 
chang," v>. 311. 

[3] Cf. chap, iv, § 12 ; chap, xii, § 16. 

[4] Cf. chap, xii, § 17. 

[5] Tel. Peking, Nov. 7th, North-China Herald, Nov. 13th, 1901. 

[6] By imp'l decree of Oct. 7th (U.S. ForRel., 1902, p. 268) Liu Kun-yi 
was raised to the rank of baron and appointed to the high distinction of 
Grand Tutor. , 

[7] He passed third for the doctorate in the metropolitan examinations 
of 1863. 


the classical style of his state papers, exceeding honest 
and devoted to the welfare of his people, in public life 
he was a trimmer.[8] On Liu Kun-yi's death he returned 
to his former post as acting viceroy at Nanking. On the 
death of Li Hung-chang, Yuen Shih-kai was at once 
appointed to succeed him as viceroy of Chihli and imperial 
commissioner for Northern Affairs. [9] Another official of 
great natural ability, Sheng Hsuan-hwai, director-general 
of railways and telegraphs, might now have found his 
opportunity, but it was his misfortune that his honesty 
was trusted neither by Chinese nor by foreigners ; for his 
services in connexion with the Yangtze- agreement and the 
preservation of peace in mid>C.hina, he received the dis- 
tinction of Junior Guardian. By the same decree the 
same distinction was conferred on Sir R. Hart, " for his 
valuable assistance and advice in carrying through the 
peace negotiations. "[10] 

§ 3. The court was now apparently freed from the 
domination of the anti-foreign party, and, in December, 
1901, the heir apparent who had been selected in January, 
1900, Puchun, son of Prince Twan,[ll]was formally deposed 
from his prospective honours [12] and sent to join his 
father in banishment. [13] At the same time a measure of 
rehabilitation was taken, which the American envoy had 
vainly urged should be included in the final protocol. [14] 
An imperial decree of December 28th ungraciously stated 
that, at the request of the British and American envoys, 
Chang Yin-hwan [15] was "as a mark of special mercy, 
restored to his former official status in order to promote 
friendly relations. "[16] This rehabilitation was a benefit 
to his family, and they were duly grateful. [17] 

§ 4. On the signing of the final protocol and the with- 

[8] Cf. chap, vi, §§ 10, 11, 21. 

[9] Tel. Pel ing, Nov. 8th, North-China Herald, Nov. 13th, 1901. 

[10] Imp. decree, Kaifeng, Dec. 11th, ibid., Dec. 18th, 1901. 

[11] Cf. cha&. vii, § 29. 

[12] Imp. decree, Kaifeng, Nov. 30th, North-China Herald, Dec. 4th, 

[13] Ibid., Dec. 18th, 1901. 

[14] Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Hay, July 3rd, Aug. 29th, 1501, U.S. For. 
Rel., 1901, App., pp. 254, 303. 

[15] Cf. chap, vi, § 22 ; chap, x, § 2. 

[16] Mr. Conner to Mr. Hav. Jan. 2nd, 1902, U.S. For. Rel., 1902, 
p. 110. 

[17] Same to same, Feb. 25th, 1902, ibid., p. 141. 


drawal of the foreign troops from Peking, the court resolved 
to return to that capital. The Yangtze viceroys had 
demanded entire immunity for the person of the empress 
dowager, and they also, in conjunction with Li Hung-chang 
and Yuen Shih-kai, insisted that an early return to Peking 
was imperative if the dynasty was to be preserved — " The 
continued existence of the empire must depend upon the 
throne's decision upon this matter. "[18] The decision 
was made, and the court started from Sianfu on 
October 6th,[19] and, after a short rest at Honanfu, made 
a long stay at Kaifengfu. It was during its stay there 
that Li Hung-chang diecj at Peking. Kaifengfu was left 
on December 14th, and the court took train — that diabolic 
foreign contrivance — at Chengtingfu ; it arrived at the 
Peking station (Makiapu) at noon of January 7th, 1902, 
and went, with the usual imperial ceremonies, directly into 
the palace — in which Field-Marshal Count von Waldersee 
had for a year established his headquarters. " As the 
empress dowager was borne past the balcony on which the 
party from the legations stood she leaned forward in her 
chair and returned jtheir salutations with evident cordi- 
ality. "[20] This desire for a reconciliation was also 
manifest at the first audiences to be held under the 
new protocol. The foreign envoys were received on 
January 28th. — " The audience was conducted throughout 
with more formality and dignity and with a greater outward 
show of respect for the foreign representatives than here- 
tofore ; the event was especially noteworthy as being the 
first occasion on which the empress dowager has openly 
appeared in an audience,*" and not behind the screen of 
gauze. On February 1st the empress dowager received 
" the ladies of the diplomatic corps " ; she was " cordial " ; 
and, having asked that those who had gone through the 
siege should be presented, she " showed great feeling in 
greeting these ladies, and wept as she spoke to them. "[21] 
The Manchu rulers of China had perhaps learned some- 
thing ; possibly they only wished to have it believed that 

[18] Joint memorial cited in Bland and Backhouse, " China under the 
Empress Dowager," p. 395. 

[19] Tel. Sianfu, Oct. 6th, North-China Herald, Oct. 9th, 1901. 

[20] Mr. longer to Mr. Hay, Jan. 7th, 1902, U.S. For. Rel., 1902, p. 142. 

[21] Same to same, Feb. 5th, 1902, ibid., p. 205. 


they had so learned ; but, beyond a doubt, they had for- 
gotten much, and hoped the world had forgotten it too. 

§ 5. Peking was evacuated, but Tientsin was an 
" occupied point " guarding the communications to the sea, 
and its' military occupation was continued. The Chinese 
authorities, speaking through the viceroy, Yuen Shih-kai, 
expressed their desire that Tientsin " should at once be 
restored to the administration of the Chinese authorities, 
so that the viceroy may assume full charge of his office " ; 
and the proposal was approved by the foreign envoys at 
Peking. [22] The American government supported the 
restoration, and took steps to ascertain the views of the 
allied governments. [23] They were strongly in favour of 
the speedy withdrawal of the provisional government ; ex- 
cept the German government, which would have approved, 
" but for the one thing which stands in the way, namely, the 
Chinese delay in improving the channel of the Peiho."[24] 
Count von Waldersee had always considered that the 
administration ought not to be restored to the Chinese so 
long as foreign garrisons occupied Tientsin [25] ; but, 
under diplomatic pressure, the military commanders in 
north-China agreed to the restoration, at a meeting held on 
April 12th, 1902. Premising that " all the commandants 
were of opinion that the situation of the contingents at 
Tientsin will be difficult without the provisional govern- 
ment, but if, for political reasons, the diplomatic corps 
considers the restoration of the Tientsin government 
necessary," they were prepared to agree ; but it should be 
effected only on the acceptance of twenty-eight conditions 
and two recommendations which they proposed. [26] 
These propositions were cut down by the envoys, on the 
urgent insistence of the American envoy ; he, however, 
had no official status in the matter, as the American dele- 
gate on the Tientsin provisional government had been 
withdrawn. The reduced conditions were proposed to the 

[22] Wu Ting- fang to Mr. Hay, Jan. 20th, 1902, U.S. For. Rel., 1902, 
p. 184. 

[23] Mr. Hav to American ambassadors, Jan. 29th, 1902, ibid., p. 185., 

[24] Mr. White to Mr. Hay, Feb. 26th, 1902, ibid., p. 187. 

[25] Count von Waldersee to M. de Cologan, May 25th, 1901, ibid., 
1901, App., p. 179. 

[26] " Proposition, etc.," in Mr. Conger to same. June 11th, 1902, 
ibid., 1902, p. 190. 


Chinese and accepted [27] ; and orders were given to make 
arrangements for the restoration. 

§ 6. On August 15th, 1902, the 329th and last meeting 
of the council of the Tientsin provisional government was 
held, the viceroy, Yuen Shih-kai, being present. To him 
were delivered : 

1°. A copy ol the minutes of the council's proceedings. 

2°. A statement of its financial operations for two years. 

3°. Cheques for the amount required to complete works in hand, 
and for the cash balance now handed over. 

4°. A list of judicial sentences not yet completed. 

5°. A list of works in hand. 

6°. A list of contracts entered into by the council and not yet 
carried out. 

The viceroy acknowledged 3eceipt of the cheques, took 
note of the documents, and undertook to carry out the 
sentences, works, and contracts. [28] In these two years 
the council had collected from taxation Tls. 2,758,651, and 
had expended Tls. 2,573,627 ; it had come to a city with 
ruined trade and an empty treasury ; order had been 
restored and trade revived, and great improvements had 
been taken in hand ; and it left Tls. 185,024 in the treasury ; 
In its administration of the government of a Chinese city, 
the Chinese officials might, if they so desired, find an 
example of honest and efficient service. 

§ 7< Foreign troops had been landed at Shanghai, for 
the purpose of maintaining order, at a time when the 
relief of the legations was far from certain and the disorder 
in the north great and wide-spread ; and the first to arrive, 
British (Indian) troops, had speedily been followed by 
others, jealously apprehensive lest a single power should 
obtain a predominant position in the Yangtze basin. In 
1902 four powers (England, France, Germany and Japan) 
had there in garrison from 2000 to 3000 men each. At the 
end of July the Chinese authorities urged the " evacuation 
of Shanghai by the foreign troops at the same time that 
Tientsin is handed back." The four powers agreed to 
withdraw their troops, conditional on the others withdraw- 
ing simultaneously, and on retaining the right to re-occupy 

[27] Mr. Conger to M. de Cologan, July 15th, 1902, ibid., pp. 198. 200. 
[28] T.P.G. Aug. 15th, 1902. 


Shanghai should any of the others do so ; but Germany 
added the condition that " the Peking government and 
the Yangtze viceroys shall engage not to grant to any 
power special advantages of a political, military, maritime 
or economic nature, nor to allow the occupation of any 
other points commanding the river either below or above 
Shanghai." The German government, while retaining 
absolute domination in Shantung and, apparently, having 
large views of German ambitions in north-China, still 
explicitly claimed the principle of the open door in the 
Yangtze basin. The other three powers had already 
acceded to that principle, but they objected to making 
it a condition precedent to the common evacuation of 
Shanghai ; and they protested to China. The viceroys 
undertook to sign no secret agreement on the subject ; 
but the German government professed to have " received,, 
both from the Chinese central government and from the 
viceroys, the general declaration in binding terms demanded 
by it, that the Chinese government will not part with any 
of China's sovereign rights, and that they will not agree to 
any preferential right which is opposed to the principle 
of the open door." The text of the agreement was not 
communicated, though it was asked for ; and, in fact, the 
Wuchang viceroy declared in a despatch that " the pledge 
proposed, if confined to the Yangtze region, is objection- 
able ... if applied to all the Chinese dominions it is 
superfluous." Both England and Japan protested to 
China that they " would not recognise as in any way 
affecting them any arrangement which China might have 
made with any of the powers concerned in connexion with 
the evacuation of Shanghai," to which they were not a 
party. [29] 

§ 8. To some of the powers the most important of the 
provisions of the final protocol was that relating to the 
revision of the commercial treaties, but to others that on 
the indemnities was the more important. These latter 
were those whose claims constituted the largest percentage 
of the total, and were not properly proportioned to the 
military effort made to relieve the legations and to repress 
the disorders occasioned by the Boxer movement. [30] Of 

[29] Correspondence, July 30th to i\ov. 16th, 1902, China, No. 3, 1902. 
[30] Cf. chap, xii, § 30. 


the powers which sent expeditionary forces to join in the 
common effort, three only seerr to have exercised some 
restraint in presenting their claims. The British claim 
must be considered moderate, considering the extent of 
their military effort. So too must that of Japan, whose 
ministers, moreover, figured so closely that the fixing of 
the interest on the indemnity at so low a rate as 4 per cent, 
drove them to ask that they might be allowed to increase 
the amount of their claim. [31] The American government 
had claimed a lump sum of U.S. $25,000,000, which was 
not, in any contingency, to be increased, and which was to 
cover both public and private claims [32] ; and the public 
claim was made, not to cover the entire cost of the military 
and naval forces employed, but to provide only for the 
increase of cost of campaigning above that of the peace 
establishment. [33] All the powers had seized silver 
bullion at both Tientsin and Peking [34] ; but the American 
government was the only one which, so far as shown in the 
records, returned any of it to the Chinese government. 
In July, 1900, a sum of Tls. 500,000 was seized by the 
American troops in the yamen of the Salt commissioner at 
Tientsin, and, on January 24th, 1902, its equivalent, the 
sum of U.S. $376,300, was restored to China.[35] 

§ 9. The indemnities had, in order that they might be 
stated in one common currency, been converted into 
Haikwar taels at the fixed rate of 3 shillings, and corre- 
sponding rates in other currencies ; but they were 
expressly declared to be a gold debt. The value of silver 
in thirty years [36] had fallen from 80 pence to 36 pence, 
and the value continued to fall until, in 1902 and 1903, the 
average through the two yeaia was below 32 pence. In 
1871, when silver had its full value, the amount of silver 
required to pay £100 sterling was Tls. 300 ; in 1901, the 
date of the final protocol, it was Tls. 666*67 ; and in 1903 
the Chinese government was obliged to pay not less than 

[31] Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Hay, June 22nd, 190J, U.S. For. Rel., 1901, 
App., p. 250. 

[32] Cf. chap, xii, § 30. 

[33] Reference lost. 

[34] Cf. chap, ix, § 21 , chap, x, § 27, n. 92. 

[35] Mr. Hay to/from Wu Ting-fang,' July 13th, 1901, to Jan. 24th, 
1902, U.S. For. Rel., 1902, pp. 129 seq. 

[36] See chart, " Submission," p. 40«. 


Tls. 750. But, while the indemnities constituted a gold 
debt, the resources of China on which the debt was based 
were purely silver resources, and they- had, moreover, been 
fully pledged as security for her existing debts. The 
Chinese then appealed to the words of the imperial decree 
which constituted their acceptance of the liability, and 
which recognised a tael obligation. The powers could not 
accept this, as their expenses had been stated in their 
respective gold currencies : but the American government 
had " always understood it to be the meaning of the 
agreement that the indemnity was payable in silver."[37] 
In 1903 the Belgian envoy proposed that China should be 
allowed to pay provisionally in silver, and should pay 
the differences between silver and gold at the end of the 
amortisation period. [38] After long hesitation and dis- 
cussion the Chinese government, " dreading the uncer- 
tainty of the Belgian proposal," proposed to accept the gold 
liability on certain conditions regarding interest and the 
rate of exchange. [39] Finally, in October, 1905, the 
foreign envoys gave their assent to proposals made in 
July, [40] by which the arrears due were taken at 
Tls. 8,000,000 ; the national bonds were to be signed ; 
interest was to be allowed from actual date of payment of 
the monthly instalments to the indemnity interest date, 
which was half-yearly ; and matters were to be adjusted 
before the end of the year. Apart from the payment of 
Tls. 8,000,000 by China, the adjustment at the end of 
that year resulted in a credit, in favour of China, of 
Tls. 273,855.[41] 

§ 10. The final protocol provided that the specific 
duties of the customs tariff on imports should be raised 
to an effective 5 per cent., and that, provisionally, import 
duties should be collected at 5 per cent, ad valorem. The 
protocol provided for a delay of two months, and China 
granted an additional delay of four days'; and the collec- 
tion at the provisional rate began on November 11th, 

[37] Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger, July 11th, 1902, U.S. For. Rel., 1904, 
p. 184. 

[38] Mr. Joostens to dean ot diplomatic corps, Oct. 1st, 1903, ibid., 
p. 177. 

[39] Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay, O t. 26th, 1904, ibid., p. 182. 

[40] Joint note to Prince Ching, Oct. 2nd. 1905, ibid., 190^, p. 156. 

[41] Joint note to same, Dec. 23rd, 1905, ibid., p. 159. 


1901. [42] No change was made in the levy on* opium, 
the new rate did not apply to export or coast-trade duties, 
and it was not introduced at the custom houses on the 
land frontiers ; but duty was now levied on many important 
categories of goods form ly imported duty-free, such as 
wine and spirits, foreign tobacco, soap, etc. Work was 
begun by a joint commission on the adjustment of the 
specific duties of the new import tariff, at the rate of 
5 per cent, based on the average market value during the 
preceding three years ; it was completed by September, 

1902, and took effect from October 31st. [43] At that 
date it had been accepted by eight powers only ; among 
the eight were the commercial powers, England, America, 
Germany and Japan ; but it was necessary, under the 
principle of extraterritoriality, to give to merchants of the 
other eleven treaty powers the option " to pay the protocol 
5 per cent, duty ad valorem on any one commodity he 
may import, instead of the specific duty of the revised 
tariff " ; and, under the " most-favoured nation " clause, 
if the option was exercised for any commodity by any 
merchant of any non-accepting power, the same option 
for the same commodity could be claimed by any merchant 
of any accepting power. [44] This state of extraterri- 
torialised confusion lasted for two years, until, on Septem- 
ber 19th, 1904, it was notified that " the only power not 
yet a signatory is Portugal, with whom treaty negotia- 
tions are now being conducted at Shanghai. "[45] The 
tariff at 5 per cent, based on the obsolete values of 1858 
was now corrected in China's favour to the basis of the 
years 1897-99 ; excluding opium, the foreign import 
duty collected in 1899 was Tls. 6,656,881, or 25 per cent, 
of the total customs revenue ; in 1915 it was Tls. 14,233,801, 
or nearly 39 per cent, of the total. 

§ 11. The revision of the .commercial treaties was a 
common interest, and China proposed that a " round-table 
conference " should be held for the common consideration 
of the subject. This was, in principle, acceptable to at 
least one of the foreign powers [46] ; but the general senti- 
ment was that, whereas the final protocol had been a co- 

[42] I.G. circ, Sept. 30th, 1901. [45] Ibid., Sept. 19th. 1904. 

[43] Ibid., Oct. 14th, 1902. [46] Cf. chap, xii, § 18. 

[44] Ibid., Dec. 6th, 1902. 

Ill— 24 


operative act, the treaty revision must be negotiated with 
each power separately, and this was the course followed. 
In the negotiations the Chinese plenipotentiaries throughout 
were Lii Hai-hwan and Sheng Hsuan-hwai, assisted by 
Sir R. E. Bredon, Mr. A. E. Hippisley and Mr. F. E. Taylor, 
of the customs service, appointed officially to that function. 
The first treaty to be negotiated was that with England, 
the British special commissioner being Sir James L. Mac- 
kay,[47] assisted by Mr. Charles J. Dudgeon, a merchant 
of Shanghai ; this treaty [48] was signed on September 5th, 
1902. The American [49] and Japanese [50] treaties were 
both signed on October 8th, 1903 ; the American pleni- 
potentiaries were Mr. Edwin H. Conger, envoy to Peking, 
Mr. John Goodnow, consul-general at Shanghai, and Mr. 
John F. Seaman, merchant at Shanghai ; the Japanese 
plenipotentiaries were Hioki Eki, secretary of legation, and 
Odagiri Masnoske, consul-general. The American treaty, 
except as will be indicated, followed closely, often textually, 
the model of the British ; and the Japanese was, in effect, 
a detailed " most-favoured nation " covenant. Negotia- 
tions were then opened with Germany ; but, before they 
had proceeded far, the Chinese plenipotentiaries discovered 
that each of the others of the nineteen treaty powers had 
every intention of demanding its special price for the 
quittance in full which would be given to China by the 
revision of the treaties ; and all negotiations were sus- 
pended, and were never resumed. The British and American 
treaties constitute the code 'co which China is now required 
to conform, and it will be sufficient to consider their 

§ 12. The stipulations fall naturally into three cate- 
gories : those in the general interest of foreign trade ; 
those necessary for the reform of the Chinese state ; and 
those considered to be required for special British or 
American interests. In the first category was one of the 
first importance, an elaborate scheme to enable China to 
abolish her cumbersome system of likin, a tax on every 
internal movement of commodities, which was responsible 
for much of the international friction of the preceding forty 

[47] Afterwards Lord Tnchcape. 

[48] Text in Treaties, i, p. 35 L ; China, No. 2, 1902. 

[49] Text in Treaties, i, p. 536 ; U.S. For. Rel., 1903, p. 91. 

[50] Text in Treaties, ii, p. 1345. 


years. The subject was so important and so full of complica- 
tions that the article dealing with it [51] was greater 
in length than all the rest of the sixteen articles contained 
in the British treaty. " All barriers collecting likin or 
such-like dues or duties " were to be " permanently 
abolished " ; but existing custom houses might be main- 
tained. Foreign goods on importation, in addition to the 
effective 5 per cent., were to pay a special surtax of one- 
and-a-half times that duty to " compensate for the aboli- 
tion of likin, of transit dues in lieu of likin, and of all other 
taxation on foreign goods " ; but the existing taxes on 
foreign opium were to remain unchanged, and there was 
' no intention of interfering with China's right to tax 
native opium " ; an excise on salt was to be substituted 
for the likin on its movement. China was to be allowed 
to revise the export duties to an effective 5 per cent., and 
a special surtax of " one-half the export duty payable, 
in lieu of internal taxation and likin, may be levied on goods 
exported either to foreign countries or coastwise," except 
in the case of silk and its cocoons. Native goods circulating 
in the interior might be charged with a " consumption tax," 
levied only at the place of consumption. An excise was 
to be collected from " products of foreign type turned out 
by machinery." Officers of the customs service were to be 
selected for each province " for duty in connexion with 
Native Customs affairs, Consumption tax, Salt and Native 
Opium taxes " ; and cases of complaint were to be examined 
into by courts of Joint Investigation. Every precaution 
was taken that the stipulations should be carried out 
honestly and effectively, by the issue of an imperial decree, 
and by placing responsibility on the provincial officials. 

§ 13. Had there been no likin to abolish, and if the 
organisation of the Chinese state had been capable of 
organising and collecting a consumption tax, the abolition 
of likin would have been feasible ; and had there been only 
two powers interested, the concordat might have been 
carried out. The conditions on which the agreement was 
made were : 

1°. That all the powers who are now [nineteen in number] or 
who may hereafter become entitled to most-favoured nation treat- 
Col] Br. treaty, 1902, art. viii, and Annex B ; Am. tr., 1903, art. iv. 


ment in China enter into the same engagements as those undertaken 
by the British (American and Japanese [52]) governments. 

2°. And that their assent is neither directly nor indirectly made 
dependent on the granting by China of any political concession or 
of any exclusive commercial concession. 

These conditions inevitably nullified the whole agree- 
ment. England made the agreement, America followed 
suit, and Japan accepted the engagements without reserve ; 
to have accepted any special condition imposed by Germany 
would have been a small price to pay, had that course 
been permitted, as these four countries (including their 
dependencies) supplied about 86 per cent, of China's 
imports ; of Chma's exports about 55 per cent, went- to 
these four countries, 25 per cent, represented the value of 
silk products exported to France and Italy, and 15 per cent, 
the value of exports, chiefly tea and chiefly by trans- 
frontier routes, to Russia. [53] Had it been a question 
only of the legitimate trade, agreement with these four 
countries might have settled the matter, except for the 
export of oilk and tea ; but, under the principle of extra- 
territoriality, every power, even the smallest and most 
remote, must give its consent, [54] and, for that consent, 
could exact its price. In a new country, having a clean 
slate in fiscal matters, the arrangement proposed would 
have been wise and statesmanlike ; but the smaller powers 
had to be reckoned with and could not be coerced, British 
and American merchants distrusted the honesty of the 
Chinese in carrying out the scheme, China was not capable 
of creating an honest and efficient civil service, and the 
agreement never came into operation. 

§ 14. Certain customs matters were regulated. During 
forty years drawbacks issued for the return of duties paid 
could not be cashed, but must be used only to pay other 
duties, except that, from 1876, a demand might be made to 
have drawbacks specially marked for cashing ; it was now 

[52] Jap. tr., 1903, art. i. 

[53] Report on trade of China, 1905, p. vi. 

[54] When the Shanghai municipality took in hand the task of sup- 
pressing gambling houses, by successive changes of ownership the venue 
was changed from one consulate to another ; and in the end declarations 
of ownership by a citizen of the Argentine Republic in one case, and of 
the Cuban Republic in another, created so complicated a situation that 
the campaign had to be stopped. Cf. Shanghai Municipal Reports, 1903, 
1904, 1905, 1907. 


agreed that all drawbacks for the import duty on foreign 
goods were payable in cash. [55] The revised tariff was 
formally accepted, [56] and provision made for it° revision, 
if demanded, at intervals of ten years. [57] Bonding 
privileges were to be extended, [58] and additional facilities 
given for inland steam navigation [59] ; Mukden, Antung 
and Tatungkow in Manchuria, [60] Changsha in the province 
of Hunan, [61] and Kongmoon in the province of Kwang- 
tung,[62] were opened as treaty ports ; the opening of three 
other ports (Wanhsien in Szechwan, Anking in Anhwei, 
Waichow in Kwangtung) was also included in the scheme 
for the abolition of likin which failed. 

§ 15. The British treaty dealt also with certain specific- 
ally British interests. China agreed that " the duties and 
likin combined levied on goods carried by junks between 
Hongkong and treaty ports in Kwangtung shall together 
not be less than the duties charged by the Imperial Maritime 
Customs on similar goods carried by steamer " [63] ; and 
undertook to remove the artificial obstructions to naviga- 
tion in the Canton river, [64] which had been placed there in 
1884 and 1894. China also accepted a restriction plac^ on 
her power to prohibit shipments of rice along the coast.[65j 
These special stipulations, in the interest of the trade of 
Hongkong and the British shipping interest, were moderate 
and reasonable, but they gave other powers a pretext for 
the consideration of their special interests. 

§ 16. The American treaty regularised some privileges 
which had hitherto been enjoyed only under the " most- 
favoured nation" clause. It was now agreed that the 
American envoy might reside at the capital, and, while 
there, was to be received "in a manner befitting his high 
position " [66] ; American consuls in China were to be 
shown the same consideration as was shown to Chinese 
consuls in the United States [67] ; and citizens of the 

[55] Br. tr., 1902, art. i ; Am. tr., 1903, art. viii. 

[56] Am. tr., 1903, art. v. 

[57] Br. tr., 1902, art. xv ; Am. tr., 1903, art. xvii. 

[58] Br. tr., 1902, art. vi ; Am. tr., 1903, art. vi. 

[59] Br. tr., 1902, art. x ; Am. tr., 1903, art. xii. 

[60] Am. tr., 1903, art. xii ; Jap. tr., 1903, art. x. 

[61] Jap. tr., 1903, art. x. 

[62] Br. tr., 1902, art. x. [65], 1902, art. xiv. 

[63] Br. tr., 1902, art. iii. [66] Am. tr., 1903, art. i. 

[64] Br. tr., 1902, art. v, [67] Am. tr., 1903, art. ii. 


United States might " reside and carry on trade, industries 
and manufactures, [68] or pursue any lawful avocation," 
in any of the open ports. [69] The British treaty [70] 
merely provided for a commission to investigate the mis- 
sionary question. By the American treaty [71] full pro- 
tection was given to missionaries and converts in all 
matters relating to their faith ; mis